On March 10, Jamaica was turned upside down with the introduction of Covid-19 into the Jamaican ecosystem. Families, lives and businesses were upended and forced to conform to a new way of life that
was characterized by the use of more technology than the average person in the country was used to.
One area that was not spared from this transitional movement, was education. Administrators, teachers, parents and students were all forced into a new way of learning electronically in a short period of time. Many of us are still learning the ropes of this new normal and in WhatsApp groups and Zoom calls across the country, all stakeholders are sharing their frustration with various aspects of this new
On May 4 th at a press conference held by the government, the Minister of Education – Karl Samuda, announced that over 31,000 students from 238 schools had no access to internet to participate in online
learning. A summary of some of the statistics presented are as follows:
It is further estimated that in excess of 200,000 students are without a device to continue learning in a digital environment. In discussion with parents and teachers across Jamaica on this issue, the problems faced include:
Notwithstanding the problems with access to a device and the internet, there are a few success stories with students and teachers engaged in online learning. Like with any new experience, practice makes perfect.