Categorized | National News

Early Student Introduction to Technology Raises Concerns

The Catholic Board of Education is certainly onboard with the Ministry of Education’s concept of digitizing and improving technology in the classrooms, according to Claudette Rolle, Catholic Board director, who added that introducing children to technology too early is a concern. 

Considering that all Catholic schools across The Bahamas are outfitted with WI-FI, capable and ready, Mrs. Rolle said Catholic schools have implemented the idea of bring your own device. 

“There’s a debate on how early you should introduce particularly the tablets and that form of digitization to students in schools,” Mrs. Rolle said. 

“We do it, but we are intentionally limited in what we do because it is important for our children to learn how to get along first, the socialization skills, the language development. We find that they are so focused on tablets and digitization and swiping, they’re forgetting that they need to learn how to resolve conflicts. 

“They need to learn how to have conversations with others.  They need to learn how to share. They need to learn how to read a book, not a tablet.  They need to know how to manipulate words, letters, sounds.”

Mrs. Rolle, at the same time, acknowledges that although a tablet has provisions to allow for learning, research has found it’s more effective when there is a balance. 

She added too that with digitizing in the Catholic schools, there is a policy that schools have in place. 

“We’re digitizing and we’ve been digitizing. It’s important because there can be digitization at anytime. It’s just that you have to know what you are doing with that device,” Mrs. Rolle said. 

The Ministry of Education recently undertook initiatives to meet the demands for the 21st century and announced its $17 million initiative to incorporate technology and digitization in all public schools across The Bahamas beginning as early as preschool education.

The government also recently launched a pilot programme to introduce tablets to preschools. Eleven preschools through New Providence, Grand Bahama, Andros, Abaco, Long Island and Cat Island participated in the launch project. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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