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Perspective: Ministry of Education Sleeping?


November  9, 2020 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |

The new Education Minister Hon. Fayval Williams has a lot on her plate. She has the nation’s children and by extension their future in her hands.  She has to step up to the plate and ensure she gets the job done. Her honeymoon period is extremely short.

Not In Place

We learnt recently, just before posting this story that certain critical equipment are not in place for the smooth virtual delivery of education to the education sector. Done 300 schools have to serviced.

Zoom access cost Ja$30,000 for two hours per day we are told.

Flow seems to be a big problem.  I cannot get to them for an explanation.  You hold on for minutes and then your call becomes “a drop call.”

Fees Drama

The leadership at the schools seem to be holding the parents to randsom by refusing to give parents access likely withholding password.  PATHE students are not being treated fairly.  Are they getting the Free tablets being promised to them so they can have unfettered access to the internet?  Time will have to tell this story.  Will it help those who are economically challenged and therefore need them most?

Not Prepared

We all knew from about May that on October 5, 2020 schools are scheduled to be opened.  Face to face tuition has been in doubt as there has been the onset of community spread:of Covid-19.  This means that there has been an exponential increase in confirmed COVID 19 cases. Virtual learning seems to be the order of the day.  The rescheduled reopening of schools is a month later than the usual September opening date. This is October 2020.

Has the Ministry of Education been caught unprepared?  We hope not. Education is too important not to have first class leadership.  Planning is critical for success. The futreof our nation’s children is at stake.  We will be condemned by future generations if we drop the ball now on this crucial area of our development.

Flow

The Technology companies need to step up and help the government and all concerned.  Education means a lot to our eventual recovery from COVID 19.  Flow seems to be a he main culprit.  They have promised to upgrade their systems to deal with the expected increased traffic … especially data traffic.  They are assured of increased income.

We hope things fall in place soon.  We may never catch up if we drop the ball.  This could lead to a lost generation. We cannot such a disaster.  This would make COVID 19 look like child’s play. Are we lacking vision?

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a veteran journalist with an international exposure

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