NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Education Director Marcellus Taylor has urged parents to make an investment in a laptop or a tablet for their child’s return to school in less than a month.
The Ministry of Education has advised that schools are expected to reopen virtually on September 21.
Three different models of learning, including virtual, face-to-face and blended, will be utilized throughout the school year as the world continues to battle the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“My advice to parents regarding preparing the children for back to school is that they should focus and make the investment in a device such as a laptop or a tablet that is suitable for their children to use,” Taylor said.
“That, I think, is the single most important investment that they can make at this time.”
Taylor noted that the Department of Education has not been telling parents what they must bring year-in-year-out because this is normally done at the school level.
“We are going to take the lead this time and say to parents first and foremost before you buy any of the books, worksheets, and uniforms, buy the device that can enable your child to access not only the classes that are on offer but also other resources that could help to support the teaching and learning process,” he said.
Taylor added that the department will work with local providers to make them aware of minimum standards of what a device must be, and make it easier for parents to make decisions on what to purchase.
During the first wave of COVID-19 cases in March, education officials acknowledged that the pandemic had created a tremendous learning gap in the country.
Officials believed the disparity in students receiving education amidst the pandemic is due to the lack of access to interconnectivity or devices or both that has disadvantage thousands of students.
This was said to be reflected in the 4,000 students who take part in the lunch voucher program.
In April, Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd announced in Parliament that each student on the government’s lunch voucher program would receive a tablet that will come hotspot ready so they can utilize the Ministry of Education’s Virtual Learning Platform.