Mon | Jan 18, 2021

Three Hanover primary schools get Internet connectivity

Published:Monday | November 23, 2020 | 12:05 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Dr Michelle Pinnock.
Dr Michelle Pinnock.

WESTERN BUREAU:

In a bid to boost Internet access in schools across the island, Dr Michelle Pinnock, regional director in the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) Region 4, said that three primary schools, Cacoon Castle, Pondside and Upper Rock Spring, are now being fitted with equipment to access the Internet, which will allow students in those areas to participate in virtual learning.

“Connectivity is very important to getting our students on the virtual field in terms of teaching and learning,” said Pinnock. “We do have issues with connectivity, and so we are working to get all our schools connected; but more so, we want our communities to be connected as well.”

Pinnock, who was participating in last Thursday’s ceremony in which 97 tablets were handed over to Sandy Bay Primary School, also in Hanover, for its grade-four to six students who are registered on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education Programme, said the MOE is working with various partners to ensure that the Hanover students are not left behind.

According to Pinnock, the MOE is now partnering with a number of establishments to remedy the connectivity problem across the country. She noted that ReadyTV, which is currently opening up access to students across Region 4, is one such partner.

CONNECTIVITY AT HOME

“It’s very well for the students to get the connectivity at the school, but when they go home we want a similar connectivity,” said Pinnock. “In Region 4, we have gotten connectivity in (schools in) St James, of course, Westmoreland has had a number, just since yesterday (Wednesday, November 18) we started with Hanover, we were able to do Upper Rock Spring yesterday, today (Thursday, November 19) we are doing Cacoon Castle and Pondside, we are hoping to get the other schools on board.”

Speaking specifically about Hanover, Pinnock said that the plan is to get all the schools and the community in which they are located to have accessible Internet connectivity within the shortest possible time.

“Once persons are having a challenge, we want them to speak with our teachers, speak with our principals so that we can help them, because we need to find out what the issue really is; and whatever the issues, we are committed to finding solutions to ensure that quality education is exposed to not just some, but to all of our students,” Pinnock said.

She commended parents across the parish for their efforts in ensuring access to education for their children, despite the many challenges sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.