Samsung Electronics yesterday rolled out its Samsung Smart School Programme at the North Ruimveldt Multilateral Secondary school. This programme will see some 120 students benefiting from an e-learning experience in the Maths, English and Science.
Chief Planning Officer of the Ministry, Evelyn Hamilton, expressed gratitude to Samsung on behalf of the Minister for the introduction of this project. She said they were excited about the programme’s success and was confident that it will contribute tremendously to its students’ academic development.
“It is an exciting innovation for the public school system. We are piloting it and will watch how it works and benefits our children,” she said, adding that North Ruimveldt Multilateral Secondary was selected because it was academically improving. She also stated that the ministry wanted to select a school that was not in the top five secondary schools. The project, she said, was estimated to cost over US$40,000.
The pilot project will be integrated into the secondary school’s education system for one year. Afterward its success will be reviewed by the Ministry of Education for a decision whether the Ministry would want the programme expanded to other public schools.
The Smart School, being the first of its kind in Guyana, was offered to the Education Ministry free of cost. The project will help teachers develop an interactive learning environment with its students.
Partnering with the Ministry, Samsung enabled a special classroom for the programme, which includes the latest electronic devices and solution, while offering a novel e-learning experience to students and connecting them to infinite learning possibilities.
Currently, there are over 380 Smart Schools around the world as Samsung seeks to find high-level solutions that will meet specific local educational needs.
Nicole Orillac, Citizenship Manager for Samsung Electronics Latin-American, stated that the Smart Schools in Aruba, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were all functioning successfully.
She said that Samsung Smart Schools use advanced technology to create better learning environments and aid in the development of smarter and more creative individuals.
“With the Smart School Project, Samsung continues to strengthen its position as a responsible company committed to society, that through the development of educational programs seeks to transform the lives of young students in our countries, providing the most innovative technology tools to serve their development,” she said further.
She added that Samsung was very pleased to support schools in need, with the innovative resources for e-learning and thus since 2014, some three dozen schools and more than 20,000 students benefited from Samsung Smart School in 12 countries in Central America, Caribbean, Ecuador and Venezuela.
She said, “We (Samsung) strongly believe that technology can create new learning possibilities for students, helping them along their way toward life-long learning and whole-person development in order to acquire the knowledge and skills needed in society today”.
She also stated the school was developed in collaboration with the Ministry and the Non-Profit Organization Glasswing, to provide students and faculty the technological tools to share content in a more interactive way through educational software.
It offers teacher-training, performance monitoring, installation and maintenance of digital classrooms in participating schools and the use of a reading comprehension software: progrentis.
She said that the programme also includes a volunteering module to encourage students to partake in extracurricular activities such as recreational events—theatre, music and other initiatives—that help to accelerate the development of multiple skills.
She said the Smart School has already benefited some six teachers in the public school, assisting them to better manage their classrooms and increase student participation, such as screen monitoring and to track students’ academic progress.
It also enables provision of private tutoring programmes according to each student’s comprehension level, and a lesson toolbar that allows teachers to effectively apply various interesting educational applications through the Samsung School interactive lesson functionalities.
The Samsung School solution allows students to participate in discussions and group projects in a collaborative manner, using tools such as separate canvas, group discussion and group report.
It also helps them retain focus with tools such as screen sharing to share lesson content on student devices, while quiz and poll helps teachers to quickly access how well students comprehend lessons and provides immediate feedback with a diverse range of engaging questions.
“With Smart School we seek to contribute to the educational processes of the country, accelerating the adoption of technological tools in the classroom and developing interactive digital content to enrich the current methods of teachings and earning,” Orillac said.