Over 20,000 students, who will be writing the 2020 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) mathematics examinations across Trinidad and Tobago, will be provided with free online mathematics revision through a partnership between bmobile and local NGO, Restore A Sense of I Can (RSC).
The bmobile and RSC collaboration offers cost-free, zero-data access to the website, as well the hosting of the platform, server, videos and software.
Dr. Ronald Walcott, TSTT’s Chief Executive Officer, explained that zero-rated data access means that any CSEC student using a bmobile data plan will be able to log on to the mathematics revision platform for free.
“Given that there is no charge to use the mathematics platform, whether a student has available data credit or not, is irrelevant. All students can now access this very high-level mathematics content for free.”
He continued: “Technology availability levels the playing field. There are significant benefits to be derived from bringing technology and education together but the most important of these is providing equal access regardless of socio-economic circumstances. Today’s technological advancements permit achievements without borders or geography. We are proud to be the technology partner for this critical educational platform and will continue to invest in our nation’s children.”
RSC director, Dharamrajh Ramdass, says he is very excited about the bmobile partnership, because it would allow them to reach a larger number of students than ever before.
“We are very thankful for all the funding and support from bmobile. The biggest win here for education in Trinidad and Tobago is the zero-rated data of the project by bmobile. This is critical,” he explains, “because when you are dealing with the lower socio-economic areas, internet connectivity and affordability are often huge issues. However, zero-rated data will eliminate all of these challenges. We now have a situation where students do not need to have money on their data plan to access our website and use the CSEC content. This means we will now be able to reach students that were previously not possible.”
Ramdass explained that the programme will focus on the innovative use of technology to reach the students nationwide through live interactive webinar training; a peer support forum; online tutorials; online mock exams; and pre-recorded animated past paper solutions as videos.
“Helping students who struggle is what we have been doing for a number of years. This year, the COVID-19 situation has more or less grounded the education sector to a halt,” he observes. “We have an estimated 20,000 students in Trinidad and Tobago whose entire life may be thrown back by a year. We are trying to help so that our students don’t lose a year of their life. We are very grateful for bmobile’s support. They reached out at a time when the country is in need.”
RSC is the official online education partner for the Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (CAPSS), of which the Association of Principals of Secondary Schools of Trinidad and Tobago (APPSSTT) is a member.
RSC lists its goal as ‘Effecting Change Through Technology and Education’ and currently runs several technology clubs and programmes in local and regional secondary schools.
The online mathematics revision programme is supported by APPSSTT which will help rollout the platform across the schools nationwide. Volunteer principals, teachers and final year UWI medical students, many of whom are national scholarship winners, act as tutors, peer counsellors and content developers. The peer-to-peer support forum brings the higher performing students together with the other students, to provide additional support to those who need it.
Schools interested in using the online mathematics revision programme can call RSC at 474-3280 or 222-2168 or email [email protected]
The website will be launched next Tuesday, April 14th, 2020.
Further details on the programme can be found on bmobile’s Facebook page.