Examination time is just around the corner, and the reality of Covid-19 in our communities will not stop our young people from preparing for and sitting their CSEC and CAPE exams in June.
To achieve this for 2020 and going forward, the Ministry of Education is establishing a pool of 2,000 laptops, to enable students to participate in E-Testing programmes and take their examinations on-line. The paperless exam system has been growing incrementally over the last 3 years, however, the event of Covid-19 makes it imperative that a more rapid transition is now achieved.
Laptops will be distributed to exam centres, throughout the country, for students scheduled to take the 2020 examinations, with strict adherence to social distancing protocols in place. On completion of the cycle, the laptops will be returned to the pool, under the jurisdiction of school principals or designated personnel, who will be responsible for both the acceptance and the undamaged return of the equipment to the Ministry of Education.
Regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean has joined the effort recently donating $22,000 and 22 desktop computers to the Ministry of Education.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Kevin Andall, stated, “We’re so happy that we had already started this process for our country’s students, particularly in light of the current situation. With donations, such as this received from the bank, we can keep pushing forward with our plans for summer examinations and beyond.”
He said the “Ministry continues to work on a number of innovations surrounding connectivity for students and teachers and online platforms for classroom learning. We are also investigating the possibility of high-speed Internet connections for both schools and communities, as this is now becoming a necessity and not a luxury, or even a choice. New learning modalities, supporting services and strategies are no longer for the future they are needed right now.”
CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Country Manager, Nigel Ollivierre noted, “The future of our nation, despite the current pandemic, lies in the hands of our children and our ensuring that they receive the education and qualifications they require, to move forward and achieve their goals.”
He added, “E-learning or online learning, which in the last few months has become the new norm, still requires e-testing as the final certification process, for secondary school students. We’re very pleased to donate $22,000 from the bank’s regional charitable arm, the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation. We hope this will assist the Ministry of Education in achieving its current goal for the laptop pool, and we are taking this opportunity to add 22 desktop computers, from our local branches, for educational use. We see it as part of our social responsibility to assist and support this online and contactless education drive, which is no longer pending, but present.”
FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation donated US$250,000 throughout its regional footprint, for use in a valuable and meaningful way, in the mitigation of the unexpected circumstances which have arisen from the world pandemic Covid-19.