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Transformative math opportunity for TCI; Singapore style is coming

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 23, 2023 – Come February 9th teachers and parents in the Turks and Caicos will have an opportunity to begin the process of revolutionizing math education for our students residents thanks to a one on one with the “Micheal Jordan of Math’ Dr. Yeap Ban Har; regionally acclaimed for bringing Singapore Math for Students to the Caribbean region.

The event, born of a collaboration between Ashley’s Learning Centre and the Ministry of Education, will span two days and will expose TCI educators to the math teaching skills that cemented Singapore as one of the top countries in Mathematics globally.

Ban Har is hailed as an expert.

Kitts Cadette, in speaking to Magnetic Media recounted a conversation she had with the mathematician where he said, “You know when students are doing A-levels and you have to choose subjects and you choose one subject that you know you’re going to pass quite easily— in Singapore for students who do A-levels the easy subject is math.”

It’s a veritable 180 shift for us in the Caribbean where that sort of proficiency in math is hard to imagine.   An educational consultant with four decades of experience in teaching  and over six years of experience with bringing Singapore Math to the Caribbean, Cadette has seen firsthand what the method can do for regional countries.

She is now campaigning along with the staff of Ashley’s Learning Center in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos to get as many people proficient in the program as possible.

“This is a workshop for teachers, principals, ministry officials, curriculum officers, lecturers— We started the workshops in 2017, we have done Trinidad, we have done Barbados and other places.  What we have seen is a different approach in terms of the way teachers execute math instruction.  I have qualitative data from teachers who have attended past workshops that there has been improvement in the way they approach teaching math and as a result their children are better able to understand the concepts.”

Cadette said that schools which had experienced the sessions would shut school down for the day when the possibility of another session came around in order to allow all staff members to fully take part.  She explains though that the program was is not a ‘magic bullet’ or easy fix for bettering math performances, rather it offered teaching strategies that could create a new mindset in teachers leading to preferred results.

“At the primary level every teacher teaches math, now unless the TCI is different from any other country, math is the subject most feared by students and teachers.  Math is the subject teachers feel least competent in and so when they teach it, they teach it as they learnt it.”

This is what the workshop is trying to change.

“We know that there are challenges here in the Turks and Caicos with math and the challenges are evident based on the results of exit exams”

She maintained with this in mind it was doubly important to change our approach to one that actually works especially as the globe speeds towards a more tech related future.

“There is a lack of enthusiasm to teach–’ she acknowledged.  “But to transform there has to be an enthusiasm, there has to be a spark.  It is critical that efforts are made to have children really engaged in math.”

Even with all of the evidence that it works there needs to be collaboration to get the best results possible Cadette says it takes a system with politicians, policymakers, teachers and other stakeholders coming on board.

“The approaches and strategies are working but it isn’t only a matter of strategy we have to look at what are the policies in place– is there going to be adequate clinical supervision to ensure that it is properly implemented in our classrooms?  It has to be a system wide attack.” she said.

“This is not a one day workshop that you come to for two days and math in the Turks and Caicos changes immediately– not all of us are mathematicians but as teachers and as parents there are some basic ways that we can improve the skills that we have.” she explained;  maintaining that the workshop was a powerful start.  Cadette emphasized the breadth of Ban Har’s commitment to take the multi day trip to the TCI for only two days and made a final call for everyone to take advantage of it.

“We hope that we will get the best kind of support from the TCI. We are trying to encourage as many people as possible to attend but we know that it will make a difference.  We know people will leave energized.”

As for Ashley’s Learning Centre, Cadette said they realized that their reach could be far beyond the walls of their own institution and this ‘was an attempt to do just that’.

To be held February 9-11; register with event@ashleylearningcenter.org.

Caribbean News

HACKATHON TO EMPOWER CARIBBEAN GIRLS TO BECOME LEADERS IN STEM SECTOR

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KINGSTON, April 12 (JIS):

eLearning Jamaica Company Limited (e-LJAM) has partnered with local educational technology company, STEAMHouse, in hosting this year’s Crea+her Girls in ICT Hackathon, which began on April 11 and will end on April 16.

The virtual hackathon seeks to empower Caribbean girls aged 13 to 18 years to become leaders and accomplished professionals in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industry.

Chief Executive Officer of e-LJAM, Andrew Lee, said the initiative allows participants to acquire skills through a hands-on approach.

“It is imperative that we actively engage girls to participate in STEM. Historically, girls have been under-represented in this field and, of course, this deprives us of diversity. Our females are extremely talented and when we include them, we get a broader perspective,” Mr. Lee told JIS News.

e-LJAM is the State agency with responsibility for promoting integration and infusion of technology in the public education system.

Founder of STEAMHouse, Godiva Golding, told JIS News that approximately 15 teams representing groups of three to five students signed up for the hackathon.

The participants are being guided to develop innovative solutions combining themes such as telecommunications, cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence, focusing on areas like education, environmental sustainability and preserving cultural heritage.

(more)

Hackathon to empower…2

Their prototypes will be evaluated on April 18 and the top-10 creations will be presented on April 25, which is being recognised as International Girls in ICT Day under the theme ‘Leadership’.

Ms. Golding is pleased to have e-LJAM as the title sponsor for the hackathon and other events around International Girls in ICT Day.

“We could not think of a better partner than e-LJAM. They have been at the forefront and have done great work over the years. Having a partner with the leadership of Mr. Lee on board is just the icing on top to ensure that this is a successful series of events,” Ms. Golding said.

A special school tour will also be conducted. At least 500 girls are expected to benefit from this programme, which will offer interactive sessions and networking opportunities with accomplished women leaders in the technology field.

Additionally, the participants will have the chance to develop vital skills, such as public speaking, strategic thinking, and confidence-building.

CONTACT: ROCHEDA BARTLEY

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Caribbean News

Efforts to deliver education to Children in Haiti – Schools still closed

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Education, April 9, 2024 – With schools across Haiti still shut down due to intense gang violence, UNICEF is making efforts to deliver education to students, working with the Ministry of Education. They are trying to deliver distance learning through radio, television and e-learning platforms and right now, solutions are being explored through Haiti’s national radio station. Announced in a press release by UN News on April 7, this comes as UN agencies warned that Haitian children are suffering from not just a lack of education but also primary exposure to violence.

 

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Education

MEMBERS OF THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ATTEND ASCD 2024 CONFERENCE

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The Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Education proudly announces the successful participation of its esteemed members at the prestigious Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) 2024 conference in Washington DC. The delegation, comprised of Education Officers, Principals, and specialized teacher groups, showcased their dedication to excellence in education and commitment to staying abreast of cutting-edge methodologies.

The conference, held from March 22-25th 2024 served as a platform for educators worldwide to converge, exchange ideas, and delve into the latest trends shaping the educational landscape. Among the driving topics that garnered significant attention were Universal Design for Learning (UDL), differentiation strategies, and the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in educational practices.

The delegation from the Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Education had an enriching experience at the ASCD 2024 conference, participating in discussions and workshops on Early Childhood, School Safety, UDL, differentiation, and AI technology has equipped them with invaluable insights and tools to enhance teaching and learning outcomes in their schools.

The conference provided a forum for educators to explore innovative approaches to curriculum development, instructional design, and student engagement. Members of the delegation seized the opportunity to network with international counterparts, fostering collaborations that will further enrich the educational landscape of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The ASCD 2024 conference was said to be a truly enlightening experience. The team returned home inspired and empowered to implement new strategies that will cater to the diverse needs of our students while harnessing the potential new skills and technology to personalize learning experiences.

Hon Taylor Minister of Education added ” I commend and fully support our teachers’ participation in the ASCD 2024 conference. Investing in professional development opportunities like this not only enhances the skills and knowledge of our educators but also contributes significantly to the ongoing development of our human capital. The returns on this investment directly impact our educational landscape, fostering a more dynamic and effective learning environment for all stakeholders involved.”

The Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Education extends its gratitude to ASCD for organizing a dynamic and impactful conference and looks forward to continued collaboration with educators worldwide to shape the future of education.

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