Sometimes it seems that some of those persons still calling for a closure of online schools are very upset that the government’s efforts in reaching under-resourced students are actually bearing fruit. Some teachers, students and many other stakeholders are trying to make do with the situation that has been created by the pandemic but some really don’t know how to adapt. Instead, it is easy to simply complain about everything that is not going right.
Some persons need to be reminded that CXC will be administering its CSEC and CAPE exams whether Jamaican students are ready or not. If these students do not sit their exams and matriculate on to other stages of learning and academic development, they will have to participate in a complete re-do of their fifth form school year which would effectively see a halt in progress at all other grade levels. This can’t be if there is to be a placement of grade 6 students into high schools at the end of the school year. But if we follow the advice of some persons that are opposed to certain elements of progress, we should forget all about that placement as well.
The government is doing an excellent job in reaching under-resourced students. Unfortunately, it seems that this is disappointing to some persons who only see certain issues through their coloured political lenses. Instead of adopting an attitude of cooperation, some persons prefer to complain about the inability of the government to bring about a perfect outcome.
With the government having partnered with ReadyTV to provide wireless internet services to over 200 schools in rural areas, a significant number of students who previously struggled to participate in distance learning will now get a chance to. The government is also actively distributing tablets to teachers across the country and has partnered with e-learning to assist with this initiative. The government is also trying to address the matter of data purchasing by giving data grants to students and teachers who might have difficulties purchasing data plans. In addition to all of this, various efforts have been made by the government and otherwise to distribute printed material to students at various grade levels who do not have stable internet access.
These efforts ought to be commended. Contrary to what the opposition has been trying to suggest, the government has been showing concern for the most disadvantaged students and is doing a good job of bringing about the desired effect of student inclusion. I hope those who have been trying to berate the efforts of the government will instead lend their support and cooperation.