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  • Writer's pictureShereen Jones

Challenges with Education in Jamaica

Children across the island being left behind due to the closure of schools during the pandemic.

Homeschooling has now become the way of life for children during this pandemic. This introduces an entirely new dynamic in our education sector. Classes are now being conducted via the internet, using zoom or google classroom or similar facilities. Parents complain about having to balance work while supervising classes and class work.

Up to 30% of our children are significantly affected by the lack of face to face classes.

But what of those students who have no devices? What of those homes with one computer for the home but four children of different ages - all needing to be online at the same time? Or what happens to those children who have managed to secure a device, who are diligent about their school work, and who may have even managed to secure help in funding the connectivity, but live in a community that does not have reliable internet access - if any at all? What about them?

Left Behind

Despite the efforts of the government to use all available channels - television, online classes, offline assignments - a number of students and families grapple with the issues of inappropriate facilities at home - nothing conducive to study, lack of devices, power outages, an inability to afford connectivity, no internet service in my community, or inadequate supervision. Depending on the study you read in some cases up to 30% of our students are significantly impacted by these issues.

But in the midst of this predicament, a number of promising actions are taking place. Parents/Teachers/Community persons who are printing and delivering lessons to students in their communities and then waiting to collect homework and get them back to the teachers. We have individuals and organizations coming donating devices to schools for students. A wave of activity taking place that show that each one of us has the ability to reach out, reach one and make a difference. Citizens are bit by bit making a difference.

That is what Giving Jamaica Chances is about. Making a difference. Finding creative ways to help our children get an education. The need is great. Help us make a difference.

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