Home Based Learning gives students and parents continuous access

Students, parents and teachers continue to benefit from the online platforms made available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teaching and learning for our student population has continued with the uploading of content, activities and answer keys to the Ministry of Education’s Schools Learning Management System (SLMS). The SLMS is available to approximately 230,000 student users from the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) to secondary level whose usage is monitored and supervised by teachers and parents. To date the SLMS platform has been utilised as follows: 

  • Over 90,000 Trinidad & Tobago students have registered online
  • More than 4,000 teachers have registered as content creators
  • 368 courses are available for ECCE, Primary & Secondary with quality assurance conducted by the Curriculum Division
  • 2,000 virtual classrooms have been created and operating since March 16th 2020
  • Virtual classes range from 44 – 95 students 

The Ministry has heard the calls of stakeholders and has created facilities for the edification and training of both teachers and parents. In order to ensure our teachers are upskilled to treat with the novel teaching formats the MOE, through its collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) principally, NIHERST, SHELL and various universities, including MIT, has uploaded the following Content to the Ministry’s SLMS: 

  • Webinar: How to Teach and Learn from home;
  • Game based design;
  • Designing, Developing and Teaching Online; (these are staggered accredited courses which span three months);
  • Instructional Design for online use;
  • Understanding and Using Open Educational resources and
  • Open Educational Student Resources, which provide a wide range of interactive e-books, games, simulations and activities which support learning for each level (ECCE, Primary, Secondary) including TVET.  

Parental support has been provided by making available:

  • Guidelines for Learning from Home
  • Samples of daily schedule for students to follow for completing their lessons and assessments, and
  • Contact information for parents requiring individual assistance and support. 

As was recently highlighted, Home Based Learning (HBL) can be a challenge for many students who are not equipped with the requisite tools to keep connected at this time. To this end, the Ministry of Education has engaged in discussions with stakeholders for the provision of electronic devices to be utilised by those students in need who would be logging into the learning platform in order to continue their learning. Collaboration with the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT)  and the Ministry of Public Administration has also begun with a view to making internet connectivity available to all unserved students and to providing free accessibility to all users of the Ministry of Education’s SLMS platform. 

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It is imperative for all citizens at this time to do his/her part to ensure that children are able to continue to receive education. Parents are encouraged to create a routine for their children that will allow for an easy transition back to schools when they are reopened. 

The Ministry of Education again takes this opportunity to remind our country men that education and schooling do not only take place in the physical school building. Teaching and learning can happen in the home, and this message should be shared with all children. Home Based Learning will be our new normal for the foreseeable future and the Ministry will do all within its power to give all students access to a quality education.