Parents, students laud EduFocal Academy as effective online option for PEP studentsSunday, September 12, 2021
AS the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the traditional education system, some parents and students are vouching for EduFocal Academy as a great alternative in combatting the challenges presented by the 'new normal'.
Parents who were proactive in giving their children a fighting chance via EduFocal Academy, the full-time online school offering from EduFocal Limited, were rewarded as it yielded great results in the recent Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations, despite the absence of face-to-face classes.
Over 90 per cent of the students who registered were qualified to sit the exams last year; and following a year of professional guidance and 'hand holding' from the team of EduFocal experts, all students who sat the examinations have been placed in top-rated traditional high schools.
Approximately 25 per cent of the students are now benefitting from external scholarships offered to them based on their excellent performance.
One such recipient is Mariesha Gayle from St Ann, who will be attending St Hilda's High School. Mariesha has been granted two scholarships: the Cox Family and the Lorraine Bailey-Wallace scholarships through Mount Peto Primary School.
For her mother, Denise Graham Gayle, EduFocal Academy is one of the best investments she could have ever made in her daughter's education.
“I was led to sign up with EduFocal due to the pandemic. It was one of the sites that was offered by the Ministry of Education when the pandemic first came to Jamaica. I fell in love with the platform and decided to make the sacrifice, especially because it was PEP year,” she shared.
Gayle said having EduFocal to guide Mariesha through the hurdles as she navigated the 'new normal', sealed it for her.
Although she is now singing the praises of the platform, she admits to initially having some reservations and even a bit of fear as her daughter was not used to it. “…But the positive side was that she was more focused and she was more challenged because the students were competitive and she had to really put in the work,” Gayle shared of the experience.
It is this confidence that comes from the satisfying results that has now propelled her to reach out to other parents to enrol their children, especially those whose children will be sitting PEP next year or those whose grade four or five academic performance will be used in determining placements.
“Don't worry, there are opportunities for your children to succeed, and believe me, if you are willing to take the risk and try the online learning you won't be disappointed. Yes, it would require you to work with your children a little more, but in the end, believe me, it will be worth it,” are her confident words.
As for Mariesha, she can't sing their praises enough as she said her journey was made much easier on the platform through quizzes, questions and practice tests in preparation for the exam.
“Edufocal Academy has the best teachers in my opinion and with their creativity and dedication to us and the school, all slides were wonderful and the different techniques used in teaching. Yes, it was online, but I didn't miss the traditional setting because I was always engaged.”
Dr Nathaneil Ehiorobo, whose 10-year-old son Michael is a 2021 scholarship recipient, shared openly on the dynamics of the EduFocal online portal which allowed Michael to remain engaged in Jamaica while overseas. Dr Ehiorobo asserted that “while overseas, he [Michael] could attend every class. He went to school, attended the class and did his research.”
For Michael, who attended Mona Preparatory School prior to COVID, online school is his preferred choice of schooling.
“I prefer online schooling because there are much less flaws,” he shared. “If you are late or if you miss a class, you can go back to that recording, write down those notes and get that information. He further explained that online schooling teaches children that devices are not just for games but you can use them for informational purposes”.
For parents who are concerned about the social interaction that children miss with online schooling, Michael suggests that “children still have a community and they can speak to their friends there so it does not affect their social life too badly.”
EduFocal Academy offers all PEP subjects: mathematics, social studies, science and language arts; and provides students with access to daily online classes, Monday through to Friday from 8:15 am to 4:00 pm.
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