J'can entrepreneurs want to make schools smart
With the final term of this academic year well under way, a United States-based start-up company, SmartTerm, is hoping to help Jamaican institutions improve their educational and administrative processes ahead of the new school year.
SmartTerm, founded and run by a group of young Jamaican entrepreneurs, is a cohesive web and mobile learning management system that connects administration, teachers, students, and parents with a seamless integrated education experience.
The SmartTerm team has spent more than three years researching, analysing, and producing the all-in-one system for managing school operations and communications.
They said the platform takes the rich and rigorous education that is provided in schools in Jamaica and across the Caribbean and enhances it with the latest technological advancements.
"We want to take the great academic system that we were raised in and make it even greater. Imagine a country where students can learn without boundaries or limitations," said Campion alumni Shamir Saddler, who is also the founder and CEO of SmartTerm.
SmartTerm assists schools to automate administrative processes like admissions, scheduling, account balances, attendance, conduct, and grade-book management through its own branded website.
By automating these tasks, the SmartTerm team said, communication between parents, teachers, and students is made significantly easier, while giving teachers more time to shape the lives of the youth they interact with each day.
"As we look to advance as a country and a region, I think employing innovative technology that makes education more efficient is a huge step in the right direction, and SmartTerm is founded on that paradigm," said Camperdown old boy Jomo Haldane, the senior vice-president of sales and contracts.
The learning-management system provides opportunity for e-learning as well.
Through its product, the SmartTerm team said teachers can share assignments, upload syllabi, create discussion boards, and teach via video conferencing. Students, they added, will be able to retrieve information, receive updates, and complete assignments online.
"With our platform, we hope to simplify many of the day-to-day tasks administrators and teachers must handle, while also improving communication between home and school. Our solutions help create an environment that helps students thrive," said Sean Wilkinson, the chief technical officer for SmartTerm.
The fresh approach to simplifying the education system was created by native Jamaicans - Saddler, Stuart Crooks, Haldane, and Wilkinson, who themselves experienced the Jamaican educational system.
They all said their experiences helped guide them in coming up with new ways to ensure that Jamaica continues to produce the best and brightest talent that is able to compete in the world.
"After spending time in the United States and seeing the different tools that aid in education, I was determined to see these systems in my home country," said Crooks, a Campion alumni and chief operating officer of SmartTerm.