Saturday 24 October, 2020

St Catherine educator creates online school

Principal of El Shaddai Home Schools, Pedro Hall.

Principal of El Shaddai Home Schools, Pedro Hall.

Jamaica's first virtual school is set to open, accepting students ranging from kindergarten to high school.

El Shaddai Home Schools will begin tutoring of its first students next month.

“El Shaddai Home Schools will be the first of its kind in Jamaica. It is a group of fully online schools designed to meet future needs. The future has come to the present,” said El Shaddai principal, Pedro Hall.

Although all education offerings are virtual, the shool’s office is in Spanish Town, St Catherine and satisfies Government of Jamaica education regulations, “El Shaddai said in a press release.

Chairman Ramocan cheers for online schooling

“El Shaddai Home Schools’ Chairman is Eliud George Ramocan, is a director at the Bank of Jamaica, responsible for data management.

“Globally, the face of online schooling has changed tremendously over the past five years.” Ramocan remarked.  “And this current pandemic serves as a personal pause to re-think gives personal permission to re-calibrate what mode of school works best with your family. An interruption of your ‘old normal’ schooling must instruct your ‘future normal’– your virtual home school.”

An adjunct lecturer at the Mona School of Business and Management and management consultant at EMCD Group, Ramocan highlighted that “Pearson, a world-class leader in education research and content, reported that thousands more families are now enrolling in online virtual schools either full-time or part-time.”

“Online schooling is not the next big thing, it’s the now big thing! Now is the time to empower your child to reach their highest potential with full-time and flexible online learning solutions. Some students simply learn better in a virtual environment and are able to ‘learn without limits’ thanks to the flexibility and empowering experiences that virtual schooling affords” asserted the board chairman, an alumnus of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Turning to educators who want to earn more and make an impact on the stage big stage, “Now is the time for our best educators in Jamaica to become international signature brands of excellence in holistic education through El Shaddai Home Schools’ cutting-edge learning platform,” said Ramocan.

“My experienced board of directors and the pioneering management team are committed in enabling, blending and transitioning schools and families to a virtual private school platform,” he concluded.

El Shaddai Home Schools’ Chairman is Eliud George Ramocan

El Shaddai Home Schools’ Principal Pedro Hall has been an educator for over 25 years and is attached to Eltham High School. He is chairman of ABC Early Childhood Development Centre; Seventh Day Baptist Early Childhood Development Centre and Smith’s Better Learning Preparatory School.

He served on several youth development committees for St Catherine and has been selected to serve on the Child Diversion Committee for the parish.

“El Shaddai Home Schools offers students the benefit of studying from the comfort of their homes or from anywhere in the world where internet access is available,” Hall said.

He added: “Parents can travel within and outside of Jamaica with their children without the fear of their children missing out on their education. Teachers, on the other hand can teach from anywhere in the world once there is an internet connection.”

Everything is done online, be it registration of students, orientation, classes, report day, careers day, counselling sessions, PTA meetings, meeting with principal and teachers, he said.

Hall said parents are able to purchase textbooks and other items for their child from the school’s bookshop online and items are delivered anywhere within Jamaica.

The school’s office houses all the hard copies of documents required under the education regulations. These include registers of attendance, mark records, students and staff files. But for ease and convenience the ministry official will be able to access the soft copies of all documents.

The official education officer assigned to the school will have full access to all required documents using credentials supplied by the school, the principal said.

Hall indicated that El Shaddai Home Schools is already in process of being registered with the Ministry of Education as an independent school and will adhere to the requirements of the Ministry of Education.

Accepting first set of students

The group of schools, which is expected to open its ‘doors’ to its first set of students from all age groups, for the academic year 2020-2021 next month, is currently accepting registrations online on its website.

El Shaddai Home Schools consists of kinder school, prep school, high school, special education school, evening and weekend school and college (post-secondary), catering to all age groups.

The principal said that students will wear the school’s T-shirt and any appropriate bottom (such as jeans pants or skirt) for classes. 

Students will never miss a class/lesson even if they may for one reason or another did not attend a particular class/lesson, as all lessons/class will be recorded and accessible from the school’s cesource Centre, he added.  

This resource centre houses a range of academic videos, examination papers etc accessible by students at the click of a button. The school library is also available for students to join and make maximum use of.

Hall a graduate of Kingston College, the Mico Teachers College (now Mico University College) and the International University of the Caribbean.

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