With the education minister’s recent announcement of a proposed project costing $17.2 million to outfit all primary, junior and senior high schools with broadband internet services, head of the bargaining unit representing teachers across the spectrum has given the proposal two thumbs up.
During an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson said she welcomes the program.
“My concern would be, we would’ve had school’s that had computers before but, we would’ve had problems with the outlets,” Wilson said.
“I believe that the use of tablets and computers even cell phones can be very effective not only for the teachers but also for their students.”
While Wilson said she feels internet access is good because it can give students “a bird’s eye view of the whole world”, she emphasized that it can also add to virtual learning.
Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd recently announced his ministry has been working on this “digital revolution”.
Wilson said however, that before the project is rolled out a comprehensive plan must be put in place. She then questioned whether the program will simply be a pilot.
“When you talk about going into the digital age, you may need to look at the entire plan because you would need the teachers, you will need the equipment if they are going to do the internet services and, I have to make sure there’s sufficient broadband in all of the schools.
“Now, if it is a program that is able to be successful, I think it will assist with online degrees for some of our teachers who are in the Family Islands and the Bahamas Learning Channel (BLC).”
Two teachers, who preferred to remain anonymous, shared the positive impact they feel will come from easier access to internet in public schools.
“That will be a plus because you can take children to different parts of the world they might never get to visit, just by the click of the internet, the click of the mouse,” the educator said.
“Because children now a-days are so tech savvy, most of them already have access to computers, tablets, and smart phones. So, I think it will be a great thing for all the schools to have internet access; it would be a plus.”
Her colleague also weighed in and said, “when a student is out of school, they can still access their homework online and the ease of not having to take around the heavy text books.”