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‘Classes’ on TV for children without internet

The Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) will be utilising television as another medium to facilitate teaching for children of primary schools particularly those without internet access. The second term was to have started Monday, April 20 but with a lockdown still in effect this was not possible.

The closure of school buildings has given impetus for e-learning with Edmodo, Google Classroom, and local platform Pennacool already in use by some RC teachers. The Ministry of Education (MoE) has also launched its School Learning Management System: learn.moe.gov.tt.

Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT) has agreed to give one hour for the CEBM to have ‘Class Time’. The CEBM had asked for six hours for different subjects, topics to be taught over a week for Infants I and II, Standards One through Four.

The Catholic News was informed by a CEBM official that the use of the one hour was still being worked out and discussion was going on with the TTT, CEBM, and the MoE, which is working on getting a slot for the CEBM with another television station.

Lisa Wickham, media producer/director, TV personality and Chief Executive Officer Imagine Media International Ltd, conducted training for a few teachers in presenting for television on Thursday, April 23 at the office Catholic Media Services Ltd (CAMSEL), Port of Spain, publisher of the Catholic News. The teachers volunteered to teach on television.

Catholic News has been running ‘Class Time’ content for primary school pupils since April 19.  The answers will be provided when teaching begins on television. Parents should keep the back issues of the paper for their children.

The teachers who were trained are part of a larger group of teachers providing content for print, TV and online. The content developed is reviewed by a team of Catholic principals.

Another team of educators worked during the Easter school break to develop a platform for teachers to begin e-learning from April 20. “Training and content and means of collaborating was developed within Microsoft Teams” said the CEBM official. Schools’ teams were formed, then training and relevant links were provided.

The CEBM official stated, “It has been a little slow but I am the contact person and based on the number of calls I am getting parents and teachers are excited to teach online. Teachers are a little bit worried about reaching the children who don’t have internet access. TV will bridge that gap”. She expects children to be engaged as television is a “different” way to learn.

“There are children who can’t sit still in the classroom but will pay attention to the teacher who might look like their mom or dad, and want to learn,” she said.  Teachers have expressed interest in continuing e-learning beyond the COVID-19 lockdown.  Parents should look out for the schedule of classes on television.  -LPG