If we are going to achieve economic growth in Jamaica, part of that process must involve revamping the education system. It is not acceptable to continue having students who are not functionally literate. It is therefore time to rethink our education strategy and to use our resources more effectively and efficiently.
The only way to improve our education system in the shortest possible time is through the use of modern technology in the schools. Jamaican schools have fallen so far behind the rest of the world because we are not using computers in our schools. The reality of the world today is that technology has taken over and changed every single job. If we are producing graduates who do not know how to use a computer then we are automatically starting at a disadvantage. We can no longer postpone the use of technology in our schools and instead need to press forward with a plan to have every school use computers and the internet.
Today’s children who are growing up on tech devices such as phones and video games often find it difficult to learn by means of the blackboard. There is so much software available today that can be used to help students learn. This software can be used from year to year reducing the need for the purchase of books. Software also has the added advantage of allowing students to learn at their own rate. It would be much easier for a teacher to assist a large class of students who are using computers than it is when working on a blackboard. In addition computers allow students to be able to practice on their own before and after school without the assistance of a teacher.
Access to the internet can solve the problem of schools that do not have sufficient library resources by letting students have access to the vast resources of the internet. In addition there are numerous free sites that can assist students in the learning process. Of course to implement technology will require the teaching process to be changed. Teachers will themselves have to learn how to use the computer and will have to assist students in acquiring the discipline to work on their own. In the future this could also lead to the situation where the student could even learn from home where all that would be needed is a connection to the school’s network.
The use of technology can help to provide education to remote areas of the country or to schools which do not have sufficient teachers. Long distance learning is a common practice in many countries today and is cheaper than having to build a school and to fill it with teachers.
Yes we are not used to this idea but one thing is certain the old ways that we use are not working and everyone agrees that some new things need to be done.