The Ministry of Education with the assistance of Digi introduced a digital platform dubbed Digilearn to first form students from nine high schools across the country. The success of the pilot project was celebrated last night at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza. The project will be gradually rolled out to the other high schools over the next four years as reported by Johnelle Mckenzie.
Johnelle Mckenzie: “Forget chalk and talk, the Ministry of Education is now stepping up its game by using a digital platform to enhance students’ learning experience. This digital platform was made possible by Digi which provided tablets to first form students for nine high schools. Since the pilot project has come to an end, a ceremony was held last night to highlight its success. Love News spoke with Dr. Carol Babb the Chief Education Officer who said that children’s attendance has been improved since the introduction of the digital platform.
Dr. Carol Babb – Chief Education Officer: “ We believe that this digital device and this digital platform is the way forward if we want to ensure that our students are prepared for the future. We are living in a digital era and so the age where there is a paper and pen thing is becoming obsolete so we need to prepare students for the future and the future is digital. We have seen that this new DigiLearn program is very successful from the results that we are seeing with our students. They also did tests using the device and the students did better, they were able to get immediate feedback, they didn’t have to wait until their teacher took home the papers or had to sit down and mark the papers so everything is more efficient using the Digi platform.”
Johnelle Mckenzie: “Where were these nine schools located?”
Dr. Carol Babb – Chief Education Officer: “They were located all over the country: Belize City, Dangriga, Corozal, northside Belize, southside Belize so a cross-section of schools across the country. It will be rolled out in about nine more schools, it is going in phases, to nine more schools and it will be rolled out to all first forms in those schools.”
Johnelle Mckenzie: “And how soon will see this take effect?”
Dr. Carol Babb – Chief Education Officer: “Well, the expansions start in September.”
Johnelle Mckenzie: “Rochus Schreiber the Chief Executive Officer at Digi said that the objective is that every single student attending high school will have access to the digital learning platform.”
Rochus Schreiber – Chief Executive Officer, Digi: “The testimonies from the principals explain that it is more than just a platform, it’s a transformation of the way they interact with the students and it is a transformation of the way students see the school. Before many kids had problems staying focused, there were disruptions in the class, the class might not have started on time but the principals are saying now they don’t have these issues in the classes where they already have a Digilearn platform. The children are already sitting at the beginning of the class at their desk, they are interacting with the platforms, with the computers and after the class is finished they are still on that platform continuing the work. They are enjoying the new opportunities to present and prepare their homework, to collaborate, to research. Because it is significant on our side but we are basically seeing it as an investment into the future of Belize so we are not looking at it as a cost, we are looking at it as an investment. Just think about it, every child that is going through this program, because it will be digitally literate, because it will communicate in a digital medium will easily make at least one thousand dollars more a year, at least. Three thousand kids times one thousand dollars more in earnings, that is three million that these kids will generate more in income for themselves and in economic activity for the country.”
Johnelle Mckenzie: “The program will now be rolled out to nine more schools and will be made available to first and second from students. This is Johnelle Mckenzie reporting for Love News.