Helping Hurricane Affected Students: OECS Commission and CXC Collaborate using new Educational Technology

Helping Hurricane Affected Students: OECS Commission and CXC Collaborate using new Educational Technology

OECS Media Release

The OECS Commission's Education Development Management Unit and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) have collaborated to provide continuity in teaching to hurricane affected students in the British Virgin Island, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, using Notemaster, a custom built learning environment that allows students open access to knowledge and educational resources and to collaborate remotely while learning. 

The new platform was used from October 30th through to November 1st, which marked the first in a series of roll outs of its kind held in the British Virgin Island (BVI) at the Virgin Island School of Technical Studies. 

OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules said that CXC Notemaster was an example of new educational technology being adopted within the regional integration framework to enable students to continue their studies and not be affected by borders or the the shutdown of schools due to Hurricanes.

"CXC Notemaster has proven invaluable in ensuring continuity in the delivery of the OECS curriculum and to empower both educators and students to not be hindered by traditional blockages to school stoppages such as extreme weather events" said Dr. Jules.

CXC Notemaster was presented to senior school teachers and personnel within the Ministry Of Education in the BVIs with a demonstration of all tools and features to enhance each subject area using the Virtual Subject Associations(VSA). 

Senior students selected from different schools were also introduced to the platform, specifically the Virtual Learning Groups, SBA information, finding study resources among other features.

BVI Minister for Education the Hon. Myron Walwyn, expressed confidence in the platform that was linking teachers, schools and students to each other and to their neighbors in the OECS.

“This is all part of our plans to move towards the integration of technology in the teaching and learning process. I am pleased that our plans for this invaluable system were well advanced ahead of Hurricane Irma since the physical part of our education system was compromised,” said Minister Walwyn.

To ensure that stakeholders are properly equipped to utilize all features of the platform, a support network was formed for all schools to facilitate the full training of all members of staff. 

"Continuity of Education - the use of online learning support post disasters " will be an agenda item at the impending meeting of Chief Education Officers/Directors and Education Planners being held from November 14-15 in Saint Lucia.  This presentation will be facilitated by Damon Clarke from Notemasters at the St James Morgan Bay Hotel in St. Lucia . 

It is anticipated that OECS Member States Chief Education Officers/Directors of Education will explore options to developing a regional approach for the continuation of education post disasters, online learning being one of those vehicles. 

The OECS Education Development Management Unit continues to work with CXC to further advance Notemaster across the region to elevate student educational outcomes.

* Notemaster can provide an animation or video demonstration of the key features of the platform.  Click here for more information.

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Castries
Saint Lucia