Nevisian Education Officials seek to use Barbados’ Edutech Initiative as template for their Public Primary Schools

Nevis’ Technology Coordinator in the Department of Education Mr. Laurence Richards, said the new approach to teaching computer studies to primary school students on Nevis would be extremely beneficial.

Technology Coordinator in the Department of Education Mr. Laurence Richards

Technology Coordinator in the Department of Education Mr. Laurence Richards

He told the Department of Information the programme had been expanded for the 2010/2011 school year and encompassed a wider area of study which would be implemented in the island’s seven public primary schools. This drive bears a startling resemblance to a similar programme developed in Barbados 12 years ago, it’s a comprehensive school improvement programme designed to bring about reform of the national curriculum, associated teaching methodologies and assessment procedures in conjunction with required improvements to the physical environment for learning and hosting new technologies. Under the current Thompson regime in Barbados, this plan has been allowed to wither in Limbo.

It would be extremely beneficial because whereas in the past the focus was on just teaching computer as a subject like Information Technology, now the intention is to use the computer as a resource for teachers as well as students, so that it should be able to assist them whether they are doing Maths, Science or Language.

Regardless of what subject area you are dealing with, the computer is supposed to be a resource. So the computer teacher would become a resource person for other teachers as well,” he explained.

Some of the brand new 150 computer terminals already installed at the Charlestown Primary School’s Computer Lab

Some of the brand new 150 computer terminals already installed at the Charlestown Primary School’s Computer Lab

According to Mr. Richards, the Information Technology team within the Department of Education had planned to continue to assist the teachers who would implement the programme on a more frequent basis, so that over time they would become more versed with the computers.

More of the installed computer terminals at the Charlestown Primary School’s Computer Lab

More of the installed computer terminals at the Charlestown Primary School’s Computer Lab

We are going to provide training in some types of software and they would become resource persons for the other teachers as well. So eventually they would be equipped to assist other teachers in other subject areas,” he said.

Meantime, the Department of Education Official noted that the computer labs had been in existence in the past but the equipment had become obsolete. He said the Nevis Island Administration had given an undertaking to replace all the computers and that promise had materialised with over 150 brand new computers for the start of the new school year.

Notwithstanding, Mr. Richards noted that unlike the past where the computer labs had separate computer systems, the revamped computer labs would be interconnected via a computer network. He said the entire system would be server driven, as opposed to stand alone computers where each one worked independently of the other.

So far the Charlestown Primary School’s Computer Lab is the first to be completely installed. The remaining six public primary school labs are expected to be completed shortly.

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