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Chetolah Park Primary Set For GSAT Success with Tablets

Published:Monday | March 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

In under 72 hours, before the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) gets underway, students at the Chetolah Park Primary have been making good use of their tablets in preparation for the exams.

When a Gleaner news team visited the school on Friday, the silence on the compound was a strong indication of the productive work taking place inside the classrooms.

Inside one of the grade-six classrooms students were observed huddled in small groups, preparing themselves for the exams which begins on Thursday. With tablets on hand, the students were eager to show off their tech skills.

Revaldo Russell, who wants to go to St George's College, shared how the tablet has helped him in his studies.

"I use it to do maths and help with hard calculations. I do the practice tests on Edufocal and also use it to do assignments," he explained.

Another student, Brianna Lee, who enjoys the social studies exercises on Edufocal, was quick to point out that she even shares the tablet with her siblings and teaches them how to use it.

"I want to be a teacher because I want to teach other children to use the tablets. I admire my teacher and how she helps us to use it to study for GSAT," she said.

Lee also said the tablet came in handy when studying for maths which, she confessed, is her most difficult subject. This also proved true for Jaheim Mckie, who aspires to be an athlete.

"I take care of my tablet and keep it safe because it helps me to do better at maths, because that is my hardest subject," said Mckie.

The school's principal, Robert Smith, was a picture of pride as he explained how the tablets fit in with his vision for the school.

Holistic development

"I want to increase the learning outcomes of our students, to develop the students holistically in terms of academics, spiritually, emotionally, and also in terms of the arts; all of these areas will be driven by technology. Our students must be able to have cutting-edge skills, and it is good that they are facilitated with tablets so that they can develop those skills."

Speaking specifically to the use of the tablets, he said,"The tablets have spiked the interest of the students, and once you can get the children involved in learning it will impact their results, the students are enthused with the quizzes, as they help with rote learning when the students practise the quizzes. I just wish the tablets had come earlier because we were one of the last schools to get them."

Education specialist at e-Learning Jamaica, Robert Philips, while confessing that there were issues with the timely delivery of the tablets, is optimistic that the content will improve GSAT results.

"The feedback we have received is positive.When kids see learning material that is interactive they gravitate to it, and we will evaluate the different content providers based on that," he said.

GSAT content on the tablets is provided by GoGSAT, GSAT Tutor, Edufocal, among others.