JUST A ‘BLIP’: Education platform sees challenges on first two days of school

JUST A ‘BLIP’: Education platform sees challenges on first two days of school
Minister of Education Glenys Hanna-Martin

BUT president says govt. “wasting the taxpayer’s money with an inadequate, inoperable, inefficient” platform 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Schools across the country opened on Tuesday to a difficult start with many teachers and students complaining about challenges accessing the Ministry of Education’s Learning Management System.

Public schools were set to reopen for hybrid learning on January 11, with students doing intermittent face-to-face learning, however it was postponed by two weeks after the country began seeing record new COVID-19 cases just days before the Christmas holiday with hundreds of new infections in the New Year.

Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson

Bahamas Union of Teacher (BUT) President Belinda Wilson once again expressed concern and disappointment over the issue, insisting that it was sadly a new term with the same old issues related to the education platform.

“The same challenges that the union raised, the same challenges that teachers and students face for over 20 months still have not been corrected,” she said.

Wilson noted that because of the issues with the LMS, teaching didn’t start until 11:30 am in some schools or classrooms. She said others missed the first lesson and some were never able to access the system so they resorted to Zoom and other personal platforms. 

“Very importantly as we focus on the thousands of students who never logged on the virtual platform since March of 2020, we also have major concerns about the number of hours lost because of system errors, blank screens, incorrect passwords, system shutdowns, and users being dropped off of the platform very frequently,” she added.

“As well as teachers, assignments, lessons plans and work being deleted and much more.

“It is paramount that the ministry education ensures that the myriad of technical issues that has frustrated teachers, students and parents be fixed forthwith.”

The BUT president added: “Why are we wasting the taxpayer’s money with an inadequate, inoperable, inefficient virtual platform to the detriment of our nation’s children. We cannot continue to deliver subpar education to our students.”

Minister of Education Glenys Hanna-Martin told reporters outside Parliament that her ministry has spoken to the developers to try to get the problems fixed and are monitoring the matter.

“We were very disappointed that not the first day of school, the system had issues,” she said.

“ In speaking to the operators on the system, they have advised that it was a blip. But I’m told today again they gave problems and I’ve spoken directly to them.

“We certainly do not find it acceptable that on the first day of school we are having these issues. Of course with technology these things can happen. We are watching it with a view to ascertaining exactly how this will play out.”

Hanna-Martin continued: “I was assured that the issue will be ironed out but certainly we will not be looking forward to a situation where we have recurrent or sustained problems with this system. We are currently monitoring it.” 

The education minister added that education officials are trusting and hoping that this will work itself out quickly and that there will not be continued disruptions in virtual education in this country. 

Unless advised otherwise by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education is moving ahead with the resumption of in-person learning in schools within the next two weeks, according to Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis.

Health officials confirmed 241 new cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas on Tuesday, taking the number of cases in the country to 29,730 with 6,132 still active. 

Of the new cases, 167 were on New Providence, 27 on Grand Bahama, eight on Abaco, six on Eleuthera, eight on Exuma, eight on Andros, one on Long Island, and 15 on Cat Island.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.


What did you expect? The system cannot handle the load of thousands of students and teachers accessing it over a short period of time!
It’s time to get face to face learning going! It’s time!

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