Teachers demand better public school internet

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Public school teachers are reminding the government how critical internet connectivity is to the teacher and learning process.
Ashworth Azille, president of the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers (A&BUT) said yesterday, that officials within the Ministry of Education communicate to teacher and administrative staff at the various schools via emails and educators are not able to respond in a timely manner.
Additionally, the region’s primary examination body, the Caribbean Examination Council, is now requesting that School Based Assessment (SBAs) and other documentation should be sent electronically to the Barbados-based institution.
“Our Education Officers are sending important communication for meetings with staff by e-mails and everybody expects us to respond in a timely fashion by e-mails too. Get your statistics to us by a certain time by e-mails. And, so, we ask what e-mail?” the education official said.
He explained that up to two months ago, two different internet service providers were supplying schools with internet access, however, as of now, the internet boxes remain at the various plants without connectivity.
Azille said education officials have done a disservice to schools across the country by not providing adequate Internet connectivity.
He said some teachers have resorted to walking with their own devices to school to assist children.
“I think it is callous on the part of our policymakers to think that in order to get their agendas across that they should deny schools the internet service,” Azille said.
The union president was addressing public school teachers at the union’s annual delegates conference which was held at the Multi-purpose Centre. The annual General Conference forms part of the 2018 Teachers’ Week.
The A&BUT has been advocating for adequate internet connectivity for quite some time.
Weeks ago, Melford Nicholas, information minister stated that the services of the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) was contracted to assist with providing internet access in the different schools.
Calls to the minister to get an update on the matter proved futile.

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