by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Ministry of Education looking at modernising delivery of education
- High-speed internet access provided through MESH Project
- Fee waived for form 3 students sitting CCSLC curriculum assessment
Imagine students throughout the nation’s schools taking notes on their iPads and reading eBooks on Kindles. This is the vision put forward by the Ministry of Education as they look into ways of modernising the delivery of education by introducing eBooks to replace hardcopy textbooks.
Taking examples from Antigua and Barbuda’s Common Digital Education (ABCDE) programme, after careful observation during a recent visit to the island, the ministry is considering establishing a similar programme in Grenada.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Kevin Andall said the time is right that a project of this nature is realised.
“We have to embark on a 21st-century education system whereby the technologies that our students are exposed to at home should be reflected and should be in place at our schools.”
Through the implementation of several projects, the government has ensured that the education system receives a boost starting with the provision of high-speed internet access through the MESH Project by creating a wireless mesh network. This project is being done through the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Grenada (NTRC). This project will also complement the introduction of M-Star project which will establish the usage of Education Expert Systems applications that completely integrate all academic and administrative departments within an educational institution. These systems are designed to make the scheduling, management, tracking, analysing and reporting institution-specific information and data simple.
Andall mentioned the OECS Education Support Project (OESP) funded by the Global Partnership in Education (GPE). This project is premised on four components: curriculum and assessment, teacher professional development, leadership and accountability, and monitoring and evaluation. He said a decision was taken to implement the project in all schools after having been piloted in 16 schools, and that this will be phased in over time. “The standards are very comprehensive in nature and requires in-depth involvement of all involved that is why the ministry is looking at a phased approach and the standards are in the four core areas: mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies. As we move forward, we are seeing the excitement among our teachers with regards to the standards because what it does is that it presents a platform that they can use to improve the delivery of instruction.”
Another course of action by the Ministry of Education to improve the delivery of education is by waiving the fee for form 3 students sitting the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) curriculum assessment.
“It would be used midstream evaluation at form 3 at the secondary schools. We are saying that the students are exposed to instructions from forms 1 and 2. At form 3 we are going to assess where they are through the CCSLC and where they need to go forward so that they can be successful in the CSEC examinations. The challenge before was the fee. There is a fee associated with that exam, now that fee has been waived and parents would not have to pay that fee,” Andall said.
Meanwhile, with regards to technical and vocational qualifications, the ministry indicated that the national TVET policy which is being developed to guide skills development will be completed in collaboration with the National Training Agency and UNESCO.