Tuesday 20 October, 2020

Early hiccups for some students as new academic year kicks off

Tianna Thompson of Alpha Primary School participates in a class exercise via a smartphone device on Monday at the start of the new academic year.

Tianna Thompson of Alpha Primary School participates in a class exercise via a smartphone device on Monday at the start of the new academic year.

Schools reopened Monday to mixed reactions from parents on the smoothness of the process.

Students were originally scheduled to physically return to the classrooms September 7 on a phased basis, but a surge in COVID-19 cases in Jamaica pushed back the start of the new academic year by a month and to a virtual learning environment.

On Monday, parents got online with their children to mark the official return of school but some of them were left frustrated by challenges with some of the software used to facilitate the virtual education process.

“I was so eager to start the school process but on the day, at 8:30 am when my child was to log on I started getting error messages,” said one parent, Marvell Brown, whose child attends Pembroke Hall Primary.

Another parent whose child attends a school in downtown Kingston said the challenge she faced was using the Google Classroom platform as it was not allowing her child to log on at class time.

A student participates in a class exercise via a smartphone on Monday.

Other parents complained about what they indicated was the incompatibility of computer devices that they bought with some of the platforms that the schools were asking them to use.

Still, there were some parents like Melisa White who found no problem with the process.

“Every thing went smoothly for me,” White, whose child attends St Aloysius Primary School, told Loop News, adding “I really did not have an issue as my child was able to attend virtual classes and complete her orientation with ease.”

Teachers, in hearing some of the proble, say they are hoping that they will be able to iron out some of the glitches in coming days.

Loop News was unable to get a comment from the Ministry of Education up to publication time.

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