TCI News

TCI public education to embrace ‘digital natives’; children will be allowed to bring their devices to school

#Providenciales, February 26, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Significant investment is being made and has been made to modernize public schools and libraries in order to properly cater to the amazing ways our children are learning through information technology and its devices.

A policy approval at the Cabinet level last month has now activated the Turks and Caicos Ministry of Education to do its part to ensure students are ready for the world and learning through contemporary techniques.

“It is significant that the Turks and Caicos Islands has one of the highest levels of internet penetration in the Caribbean.  The government of the Turks and Caicos Islands is committed to our youth enterprise and acknowledges that the Information and Communications Technology sector is ripe for investment and that improving access to information and the provision of seamless service will be a major enabler across all major policy areas and throughout ministries, departments and agencies,” said Karen Malcolm, Minister of Education & Library Services.

The Turks and Caicos Ministry of Education & Library Services recently spent some time during a press conference explaining the advent of a program which will be rolled out, initially as a pilot; and get this, it will allow children to bring their own devices to school to support their classwork.

“One of the things we’ve locally is the fact that our regional partners, for example the CXC is moving its entire suite of examinations to e-marking and e-learning broadly.   In addition, teachers and how they deliver the curriculum is being transformed moving away – and in some cases – far, far, away from the chalk and talk didactic approach to the use of technology,” explained Edgar Howell, Director of Education.

The bottom line is the Turks and Caicos education ministry though ‘Bring Your Own Device to School’ is rapidly reforming to ensure students are not left behind or left out.

“The Digital Natives, our children are growing up in an environment where they seem to be coming out of the womb holding and I-pad or an I-phone or a laptop in their hands and able to use it.   And we want to encourage them to be able use those devices to enhance and improve their learning outcomes.”

While the MoEYCLS admits it is unable to provide a device for every child, the program will allow personal items to be brought in and there will be negotiations with the private sector to offer devices at special prices for students.

“We are putting in the necessary security to ensure that when children come onto the school compound with their devices that they are only able to access those sites that would enhance learning.   We don’t want them wandering into places that they should not be.”

Online mock examinations and uploading of school-based assessments are already in practice in at least two schools in the Turks and Caicos for CXCs.   Distance learning for any level of learner will also be available through these advancements in ICT.



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