DIGITAL transformation is the first order of business for Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She was speaking after her visit to St Ursula’s Anglican Primary School in Port-of-Spain on Thursday, ahead of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam.
She said, “I wanted to see exactly how the arrangements were different in terms of the social distancing. I wanted to understand from the principal what precautions would have been taken before the exam.
“The school has taken all the necessary precautions, they have all the sanitizing stations. Their preparations for the break between the exam as well as in terms of supervision of the children ensuring that they don’t intermingle too much.”
Gadsby-Dolly said, “Education in the context of the pandemic, the whole issue of digital transformation, the whole issue of no child being left behind takes on different dimensions.”
“When I get back to the ministry today we are going to be discussing with the permanent secretary and with the technocrats in the ministry what the plans going forward would have been. They of course would have been looking at this issue over the course of the couple months And will have to make some quick decisions as to the options,” she said.
Gadsby-Dolly said, “The issue of connectivity, the issue of having devices, the issue of having a platform that works for all and the issue of supervision.”
The minister said, “The higher students, they may have self-discipline and even that sometimes is difficult but when you’re thinking about primary school children, five and six year olds, the issue of supervision who is actually ensuring that even with the devices, with the connectivity learning is taking place.”
Gadsby-Dolly said, “The issue of regression is one that we cannot afford we do not want our students not being able to compete in years to come because of this particular setback how we do that of course is the main issue of decisions will have to be taking in the near future.”
“That is what is going to occupy our time and attention in the next couple weeks very severely with the technocrats of the Ministry of education,” she assured.
Gadsby-Dolly visited the school along with Minister in the Ministry of Education Lisa Morris-Julian and Permanent Secretary Lenor Baptiste-Simmons.