Government will be purchasing approximately 20,000 devices from the Republic of Kenya to assist the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training with a blended approach to learning when the new school year begins next month.
Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw, made the disclosure Friday morning during the naming ceremony for The Ellerslie School’s Auditorium after past student, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Professor, The Most Honourable Eudine Barriteau.
“I have to leave [early] to speak on the floor of Parliament about a very important piece of financial assistance which the Government of Barbados is giving to the Ministry of Education in the form of about 20,000 devices from the Kenyan Government, which will assist us to be able to ensure that there is a blended approach to learning for the start of the September term …. So, all of you would appreciate that I also have the responsibility to be elsewhere to speak to that particular supplementary,” she explained.
Additionally, Minister Bradshaw said the Ministry would soon start the consultation process with its stakeholders in education to develop a format on what school will look like when classes resume.
She pointed out that the devices would be a significant part of the approach to teaching and learning, since the world was navigating in unchartered waters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wish I had a crystal ball to say what school will look like, but I don’t. What I do know, however, is that whatever format our classes will take, we will need the full cooperation of our school staff, our unions, our parents and indeed our students.
“And we have seen many of them rise to the challenge over the course of the last few months. It has not been easy, but in the face of adversity, we have been successful in being able to contain our numbers and ensure that students receive a decent education. It is my wish that all Barbadians will work with us.”
The Education Minister added that over the next few months, teachers and students would have to adapt even further to operate in the new environment.
She said emergency online teaching, remote classrooms, strict health protocols and physical distancing would now become the norm.