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Education minister tests out e-learning for closed schools

Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou is shown recently how the distance learning system will work

E-learning in public schools is a viable proposition, education minister Prodromos Prodromou announced on Monday as he visited three Nicosia high schools where pilot schemes were being tested.

During his visit to Kykkos, Engomi and Dasoupolis lyceums, he had the opportunity to observe the process, to chat with pupils electronically and to exchange views with the school management.

The ministry is developing a distance education system for all children at all levels, starting with grade 3 of high schools, he told reporters.

“We have the technology, we can use the technology and it’s time to provide distance education. We have seen it today and it is possible,” he said.

According to the minister, the third grade was chosen as a starting point due to the special circumstances surrounding exams, as this is the group where four-monthly exams were introduced for the first time this school year.

The intention is to work with students, families and teachers to identify gaps in equipment and facilities, such cases where students have no computers at home.

He added there is an interest by the private sector to contribute.

As nobody knows how long the emergency will last, the ministry is ready to plan for the whole school year, he added.

Each school will get organised and will announce in the coming days when they are ready so that both parents and children know when they will be expected to start the new scheme, Prodromou said.

Students complained about the way internet-based distance learning has been dealt with, saying they should have been involved.

“We were informed about the measures by the media! If that is even possible!” student union Psem wrote.

“We can all contribute to this effort. We are likely the student body which communicates with thousands of students these days.”

According to the announcement, the students consider distance learning a good thing, if it is done properly. It must be studied so that it is not a half measure, they proclaimed.

“E-learning presupposes that all students, but also teachers, will be provided with the necessary tools and training to be able to follow this course.”

 

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