Zero-rated online access as ministry brokers deal
THE MINISTRY of Education, Youth and Information has moved to expand online teaching and learning opportunities in the continuing effort to minimise the disruption of normal school activities as a result of the COVID-19 threat.
Effective Thursday, March 26, the ministry, in partnership with One-On-One Educational Services Limited and FLOW, began providing students and teachers with ‘zero-rated data’ access to a learning management system for an initial two-week period. This will be reviewed based on the ministry’s needs during this time. The platform will provide live public classes; teachers with opportunities to deliver classes privately; and learning content aligned with the National Standards Curriculum, Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), City & Guilds, and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) syllabi.
Commenting on the partnership, Stephen Price, country manager of FLOW Jamaica, said: “As Jamaica’s largest Internet service provider, we are extremely pleased to partner with the ministry on this timely and extremely worthwhile initiative. It is important that our educators and students have access to the critical resources needed to ensure that our nation’s children can continue their studies without the worry of data affordability during these challenging times.”
FLOW, for the past four years, has partnered with One-On-One Educational Services Limited to power the FLOW Study portal – now subscription free – and other initiatives within the Caribbean to bring educational support to students affected by disaster.
Students from grades one to 13 will be able to access live public classes according to a set timetable. The full complement of subjects will become available in two phases.
Starting on Thursday, March 26, 2020:
- Mathematics, grades one to 13 (NSC, CSEC, City & Guilds, and CAPE)
- Biology (CSEC)
- Physics (CSEC)
- Chemistry (CSEC)
Starting on Monday March 30, 2020:
Grades one to three –
- Language arts
- Integrated studies
Grades four to six --
- Language arts
- Social studies
Grades seven to nine –
- English language
Grades 10-11 –
- English language
- English literature
- Principles of business
- Food and nutrition
- Principles of accounts
Grades 12-13 –
- Communication studies
- Caribbean studies
- Biology, units 1 & 2
- Chemistry, units 1 & 2
- Physics, units 1 & 2
- Sociology, units 1 & 2
- Pure mathematics, units 1 & 2
- Information technology
Instructions for students to access the link to the One-On-One/FLOW platform and the timetable for live classes may be found on the MoEYI’s website at www.moey.gov.jm. In addition to the live public classes, grades one to 13 students can also access self-paced content in several subject areas on the platform, free of cost.
Ricardo Allen, president and CEO of the e-learning provider, said that Internet access was crucial in times of disaster.
“This partnership allows more students and teachers to come together in the online space than was possible before,” said Allen.
“Although schools are closed, learning must continue, and our platform makes it easy for teachers to carry on with their lessons and engage with students.”
Allen said that students would be able to access up to 18 syllabuses and other study material in a personalised or interactive way.
The One-On-One/FLOW platform will also allow teachers to create a profile to invite and engage with their own students.
The ministry is aware that not all schools may have access to platforms to allow teachers to continue engaging their students. As such, a limited number of Zoom accounts will also be available each day, for one-hour sessions, aimed at teachers who may wish to use this medium to engage their students. When this option is activated, students who have received a link to the class will be able to participate in the lesson.
Instructions on how to access an account and generate a link will be sent to principals via a bulletin. Principals are being asked to share this information with their teachers.
Online live chat support will be available to users six days each week, Mondays to Saturdays, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Persons needing help can also visit the website at https://1on1support.1on1lms.com or email the help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.