COVID-19: Students are participating in Dominica’s online learning initiative says Education Minister

Education Minister, Octavia Alfred

The online learning initiative of the Ministry of Education continues during the state of public health emergency which now exists in Dominica because of COVID-19.

That’s what Education Minster, Octavia Alfred, said last week at a Ministry of Education press briefing on COVID-19.

“Learning is continuing through online platforms and teachers are engaged in the preparation of activity packs for their students. To facilitate this, the ministry has asked principles to use management discretion and ask teachers to report to schools on specific days to prepare work for students,” she stated.

Alfred said although all secondary schools now have access to the internet, six (6) primary schools have not been connected.

She said students who do not have access to the internet and mobile devices will receive activity sheets.

“Arrangements will be made by schools for parents to pick up their children’s work packets. The children will complete the work at home and the parents will return them for assessment,” Alfred explained.

The minister said that online classes are mainly being done via Google Classroom and are equipped with video communication software, Zoom, which has a capacity of up to one hundred (100) participants.

She revealed that more than fourteen thousand (14,000) education.gov.dm email addresses have been activated and more than eight hundred (800) of one thousand and twenty-one (1021) teachers access the platform.

“Five thousand five hundred (5500) students have access and presently six hundred and forty-five (645) teachers are connected to the Ministry of Education Resource Training Classroom. The resource classroom is a common online area where education officers and teachers congregate to share information resources and content to facilitate online learning,” Alfred added.

She said over three thousand five hundred (3500) classrooms were created by the end of the second term and over 2,000 assignments were posted.

The Education Minister encouraged the use of the Digicel’s Learning Hub, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Learning Hub and the online One-On-One Classroom Flow Study and to review content for both the primary and secondary school levels.

“Review past papers are available for The Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and The Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CESC) exam. Check the CXC learning hub on the cxclearninghub.cxc.org or access on the website cxc.org. The ministry has also prepared flash drives with interactive learning materials as well as examination past papers for all students of grade five and six,” Alfred said.

As of next week, recorded classroom sessions will be broadcast via the Government Information Service (GIS) and will be available on social media.

With respect students who have access to the internet but are not taking advantage of this opportunity, Alfred called on parents to take up their supervisory role at home and encourage their children to log in to the online portals to participate.

“We recognize the challenges that exist with access and internet and devices. The government is working with the service providers to bring connectivity to areas, especially in the east coast and parts of the north and south. We are also in an advanced stage of securing devices,” she assured.

She also indicated that the examination date of the Re-grade 6 National assessment will be revised as the situation is being monitored nationally and in terms of CESC, CAPE or The Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC),  although exams days have been revised and submitted by CXC, Caribbean countries are monitoring the health situation as a region.

“We give a special note of gratitude and a high note of commendation to our principals and teachers for your effort and diligence in such a time like this,” the Education Minister stated.

The Ministry of Education has in place a support mechanism for staff teachers, students and parents who encounter difficulty or need advice.

Their hotline numbers are 6113409, 6113953, 2665543(Whatsapp) or email at support@education.gov.dm  and education@dominica.gov.dm for inquiries on other issues.

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8 Comments

  1. decision makers in ministry of Education
    April 29, 2020

    Students are sent home to be protected from being infected but
    Ministry of education lets their teachers send countless papers in activity packages to potentially infect those same students. PURPOSE DEFEATED!

    Majority of students don’t have access to internet in some areas, many lack devices, another percentage lack the skill to use them … Ministry of education is boasting of how many online classrooms are setup for those same set of students.

    The image that this ministry is trying to create with figures is just misleading. If a child happens to struggle with their ‘kwace DATA’ to get one glance at this online learning platform, MOE includes them in their high figures to say their programs are effective.

    Whether or not a child passes or fails common entrance, they are still sent onward to secondary school. Ministry of education is trying to figure out what to do about this exam in the middle of a pandemic.

    • Randolph
      April 30, 2020

      Very simply put, another smoke screen from a utterly useless government. Too much propaganda very frequently goes wrong! How can these people sleep at nights?

    • Josephine francis
      June 8, 2020

      I love that my children have no time to waist good job to the teachers work after work

  2. greed
    April 29, 2020

    It is so amazing who we do forget…she not too long ago knew what teachers when through….000 no increase , not nothing. Now she says nothing. magwasay. But time will tell…and God doh like E-po-quite

  3. Concerned Mama
    April 27, 2020

    Mrs. Alfred I specifically want you to look out for the tired teachers and principals . They only teach Facebook classes. My children are crying out for help. Help the children please. I am sure you know them.

  4. Stressfree
    April 27, 2020

    This lady turn Minister knows of the callous disregard and neglect that this government and the ministry of education meted out to the Northern Eastern Comprehensive School that continued and became worst post Maria, the school for example was without a computer lab; before she was elected she complained bitterly. Now she has sold herself for whatever and to whoever she is now in the forefront of the choir of this inefficient , unfocused, reactionary government. Good for her because Sundays she can rush to her church to shout for forgiveness of her sins only to make space for more sins.

  5. Gods child
    April 27, 2020

    Yes Miss, numbers are being given to make your ministry look good. Is that the reality on the ground? Some parents wont even get their children to do any work what so ever especially in the Government schools whether it be online or activity packs. i see them running up and down all day. Most parents just want to know when will school be reopened. Mrs. Alfred you were once a teacher and is a parent I am sure you know the struggle. Stop reading from that script and speak just the way teacher Bonnie used to. I thank you …

    • Thumbs Up
      April 29, 2020

      There are teachers things are being tough on them, they don’t have internet at their homes or at their work place. Yet make special efforts preparing weekly activity packages for their students.

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