Published 30 November 2023
Buckie Got It, St Kitts Nevis News Source
ENHANCING LEARNING CONTINUITY AND INCLUSION PROJECT TO REDUCE DISRUPTIONS IN THE LEARNING AND TEACHING PROCESS IN ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, November 30, 2023 (SKNIS) – Students across St. Kitts and Nevis are now in possession of new devices that will enhance their learning experience. The laptops and tablets were distributed this month as part of the Enhancing Learning Continuity and Inclusion Project.
Acting Chief of Education Planning, Carla Mills-Diamond said the Enhancing Learning Continuity and Inclusion Project goes far beyond its predecessor, the One-to-One Laptop programme, as it addresses the issue of accessibility for all, thus allowing for interconnectedness between teachers and students at all times.
Speaking on the topic “Digitizing Education”, on the Wednesday, November 29, 2023, edition of InFocus, Ms. Mills-Diamond said the Enhancing Learning Continuity and Inclusion Project was conceptualized coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic that negatively impacted the education system. These challenges primarily arose from implementing preventive actions like social distancing and limitations on in-person learning.
“During COVID you would have had a lot of learning loss because students were on lockdown, some didn’t have devices and so the more vulnerable population of students really were not in a position to access learning, hence the name ‘Enhancing Learning Continuity’. So continuing the learning [process] was an issue,” Ms. Mills-Diamond said.
Ms. Mills-Diamond emphasized that the new initiative aims to address existing gaps in device accessibility for students and teachers. Previously, some teachers received laptops, and some students had tablets on loan. The current initiative is more proactive and intentional, ensuring that most, if not all, students have access to devices. This approach facilitates distributed teaching and learning, allowing students and teachers to connect and engage in the educational process from different locations.
To ensure this goal is achieved, the Government also ensured that the proper network infrastructure was put in place.
“So you have the fibre connections because you want connectivity now in the schools, you want schools to be able to have a broader network so that they are able to get that connectivity,” the acting chief of education planning said.
Ms. Mills-Diamond noted that prior to the implementation of the Enhancing Learning Continuity and Inclusion Project, special emphasis was given to ensuring the online safety of students using the devices.
“It has a gender-responsive cyber security toolkit, it looks at a parent empowerment programme, it provides psychometric development and assessment tools for struggling learners and training for teachers in distributed learning,” she said. “So it’s a lot more comprehensive in scope and the intention was really to make sure that you don’t just have a device but you are equipped to really facilitate the learning and teaching process even if it is in a distributed environment.”
The acting chief of education planning mentioned that the project included the integration of school broadcasting technology and the installation of routers and wireless access points, aimed at enhancing the schools’ ability to manage various demands.
The Enhancing Learning Continuity and Inclusion Project was a manifesto promise by the current St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party-led Administration that has now been fulfilled with the distribution of tablets to primary school students and laptops to secondary school students in the Federation.