The Ministry of Education (MOE) in partnership with the Organization of American States (OAS) and ProFuturo has officially launched the ProFuturo Digital Mobile Classroom initiative in The Bahamas. The global initiative was launched at the Learning Resources Unit Friday, February 28, 2020. MOE representatives present included: Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Sharon Poitier, Deputy Director; Mr. Julian Anderson, Deputy Director, Technology and Innovation; Sharmaine Sinclaire, Assistant Director of Education; senior MOE administrators, teachers, Phyllis Baron, OAS representative and Steve Marquant of ProFuturo. The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education, described the launch as a red-letter day and an exciting moment in the development and advancement of education in The Bahamas.
He said at the beginning of the school year 2021, the MOE expects to have a fully digitalized, 100 percent internet connected smart school system in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and today’s exercise augments and supplements what is already in progress. “We are in an era where it is what the student wishes, student desires, student wants and in the way that the student wants it. “This is why technology is so important and this is why the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is a signatory to Sustainable Development Goal #4 which speaks about personalized and individualized learning, and equitable and inclusive access for all students wherever they happen to be the world, and in particular in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, to have the same quality of education that any other student has; which means that the student in Rum Cay or Mayaguana or Acklins should have the same benefit of equitable, excellent, quality education that the student in New Providence, Grand Bahama or Abaco has. That’s why technology is the great equalizer,” said Minister Lloyd.
Ms. Baron said ProFuturo supports innovative and quality digital education and is geared toward improving opportunities for vulnerable groups, specifically children, through transformational education initiatives. “The digital revolution has provided unparalleled access to information, empowering people to do their own research, education and learning. Today, the Bahamas is in the forefront of this progress, as 24 primary schools in Nassau will benefit from the program; impacting the lives of 7500 students and 250 teachers.” She informed that the education programme comprises three main components namely: supply of equipment for digital classrooms (tablets, laptops, projectors, routers, etc.) sharing of virtual educational content (for Mathematics, English and Life Skills) and training school officials on innovation in Education.
Mr. Marquant said ProFuturo will join the MOE and the OAS to bridge the education gap and digital divide and expects to positively transform the teaching and learning experience of teachers and students in New Providence. ProFuturo is an education programme launched in 2016 and aims to narrow the education gap in the world by providing quality digital education for children in vulnerable environments. The programme has also launched the digital education initiative in Guyana, Barbados, Guyana, Barbados, Belize and St. Lucia. The programme will begin in 24 schools in New Providence and move incrementally throughout the Family Islands over a three-year period.