Students grateful for free access to EduFocal platform
Eleven-year-old Cerease McCormack, a student at the George Headley Primary School in Kingston, is continuing her daily regime of studying remotely to ensure that she is ready for life in high school.
With the decision to close all public schools in Jamaica since mid-March, students have had their education disrupted by the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Schools have not faced this level of disruption in generations and, unlike any time in the past, school administrators, parents and students have been resilient to continue education during the school closure period.
Since the closure due to COVID-19, only one of the grade six PEP Examinations, the Ability Test, was conducted on February 25, 2020.
The government has since extended online and distance learning for schools to July 3.
Minister with oversight for Education, Youth and Information, Karl Samuda, has said that schools will not physically reopen until the next school year on September 7, 2020.
The Education Ministry has also indicated that for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), a decision has been made to forego the Performance Task and the Curriculum-based Tests, originally scheduled for March and April, respectively, and instead, use grades from previous tests to place students at the secondary level.
The Grade Four Numeracy and Literacy exams done in 2018, the Grade Five Performance Task, which was done in 2019, and the results of the Grade Six Ability Test done in February 2020 will be used for secondary placements to be released on June 26, 2020.
Notwithstanding, eleven-year-old Cerease McCormack, a student at the George Headley Primary School in Kingston, is continuing her daily regime of studying remotely to ensure that she is ready for life in high school.
She utilizes online learning resources from her school, in addition to EduFocal, an award-winning online social learning platform for Primary Exit Profile (PEP) students.
According to Cerease, in this uncertain environment, it is important that learning continues, even if it cannot be done in person. The grade six student has been taking advantage of EduFocal’s free online PEP classes and resources.
Edufocal has been offering free online classes and PEP resources since mid-March, and has extended access until mid-May with some $18 million in support from corporate partners Wisynco Group Limited, Tru-Juice, JP St Mary’s, Sagicor Foundation, National Baking Company Foundation, NCB Foundation and Hawkeye.
Using her phone daily, Cerease continuous to work assiduously to complete her assigned tasks.
“I normally get up in the mornings and get ready for school. Now I get up and have online classes,” she said. Campion College, Immaculate Conception High School, St Andrew High for Girls and Wolmers Girls’ High School are her preferred high schools to attend in the upcoming academic year, Cerease, the deputy head girl at George Headley Primary, has been using the platform, www.edufocal.com, since grade five; and has found the site to be one-of-a-kind for students at the primary level.
“It is very helpful and I have a better understanding of the subject areas. Most times, I am ahead of the class because the content on the website is far advanced. When the teacher gets to a particular topic, there are times I have already completed that area,” she said.