NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Education (MOE) advised yesterday that schools currently engaged in virtual learning have activated contingency plans amidst ongoing challenges with the Learning Management System (LMS).
In a statement, the ministry acknowledged that the LMS has been experiencing problems since Monday — when all government schools resumed lessons — and apologized for the inconvenience caused by the interruptions.
“The ministry wishes to advise that in the case of such interruptions to the LMS, schools and school districts have developed contingency plans which they are able to operationalize,” the statement read.
“From all accounts, schools currently engaged in virtual learning on the islands of New Providence, Abaco, Eleuthera and Exuma were able to activate their contingency plans successfully, therefore keeping the loss of instructional activities to a minimum.
“Schools will continue to utilize their contingency plans until the challenges are resolved.”
Bahamas Union of Teacher (BUT) President Belinda Wilson cried shame on the government after students and teachers received error messages and system maintenance messages while trying to log onto the system on both days.
Wilson said education stakeholders are faced with the same issues they were faced with since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
“The Bahamas Union of Teachers is urging, again, the Ministry of Education to acquire a virtual platform that is operable and able to meet the needs of teachers and students in the public school system,” she said.
“There is an urgency for teachers to be trained on an operable platform.”
Wilson accused the MOE of “pretending” there is a functional virtual platform and insisted that they “tell the truth” about the problems with the LMS and EMS.
“In these hard economic times, millions of taxpayer dollars are being squandered on an inadequate, ineffective, inoperable platform,” she added.
“Even more concerning is the fact that this is being allowed to happen at the detriment of thousands of public school students, failing and being further disadvantaged. Intervention is needed and is needed now.”
However, the ministry noted in its statement that the programmers for the system, One on One, have made a number of enhancements to the LMS in response to concerns and requests made by teachers, students and school administrators over the last three months.
“Generally, the MOE is happy with the upgrades and enhancements to the LMS,” the statement read.
“However, it appears that the challenges experienced on Monday and Tuesday resulted from those enhancements.
“One on One is working to rectify these system glitches.”
It added that from time to time, similar system challenges are likely to occur, just like situations experienced by education systems globally.
“The MOE is confident that at the end of this process, we will have a more robust system to manage our online learning activities.”