Use COVID-19 crisis to push digitization and online learning, says BTVI pres.

Use COVID-19 crisis to push digitization and online learning, says BTVI pres.
BTVI President, Robert Robertson.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) president Dr Robert Robertson stressed the country must use the COVID-19 crisis to reflect on the advantages of digitization and online learning.

Robertson said more than 80 percent of the institution’s students forced to take their courses online are enjoying the experience.

He was part of a panel discussion on education and COVID-19 hosted by the Organization for Responsible Governance.

Robertson noted the institution went online with 275 of 300 courses offered within 72 hours of COVID-19 restrictions being imposed.

BTVI has offered 50 online or blended classes over the past two to three years, he said.

According to Robertson, the COVID-19 crisis has presented significant opportunities in affording the family islands to get more involved in tertiary education.

He said BTVI has been in discussion on how to make that a reality.

“What we have done in the past few months has been remarkable but there is much more to be done in terms of online learning,” Robertson said.

“Going forward The Bahamas needs to really reflect on what advantages we can draw in terms of digitization and better use of online learning. It still requires fairly significant work.”

The BTVI president said the Bahamas is small enough and has the infrastructure to make the necessary adjustments.

“There are things that we can do and a number of things that we are doing currently,” Robertson added.

Acting director of Education Marcellus Taylor noted that the number of students registering for the Ministry of Education’s virtual school initiative has increased since it first launched.

“From the first day when we launched the virtual school the number of people self registered was like 11,000 now the number of studies about 46,000 so each week we achieve when people are added,” Taylor said.