Mon | Jan 25, 2021

Urgent need to address woes of online learning

Published:Tuesday | October 27, 2020 | 12:10 AM


Since the closure of schools in early March, bringing in its wake a switch from face-to-face to online learning, I have watched as the woes of the students taking online classes grow exponentially.

From the short attention span of some students, parents not being able to assist their children either due to not understanding the lessons themselves or just not being there due to the need to be at work, to the far more vexing issues of students not having either laptops or tablets, to poor or no Internet connectivity.

While past students, or the private sector, or good Samaritans can assist with providing the required tools, the grave issue of the poor Internet connectivity lies squarely at the feet of Government.

It is patently clear that both Internet service providers cannot provide the Internet services to the level it is needed now.

An article in The Gleaner reported that 400,000 students may be left behind due to online deficit and lack of resources. Indeed, one source says half of the parish of Hanover has no Internet service.

In all of this, telecommunications company Caricel has been taken out of the market when there is a need for another player in the telecommunications landscape. We need competent telecommunication players now and there is an urgent need to improve internet services and make the services affordable services for the students.

The burdened system is crying out. The future generation deserves no less.