Another major educational initiative got underway today as the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development launched a Public Broadcast Service (PBS) for Education in Barbados.
Speaking at the official launch of the ‘electronic campus’, Acting Education Minister, Patrick Todd, stressed that “if Barbados wants to be competitive, there must be further reform of the educational system, to fully embrace and deploy all the technologies…in order to reach those individuals who do not respond readily to traditional teaching methods.”
The facility, which comprises a radio station, a free-to-air television station and an umbrella website, is the brain-child of the Ministry’s Audio-Visual Aids Department, now renamed the Media Resource Department which has been credited with providing the public with educational radio and television programming from 1969 to 1996.
According to Mr.Todd, “over the next seven years, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development hopes to develop a 24-hour radio station, a 24-hour television station and a supporting website.” He explained that the three entities would be aimed at providing continuous education programming for adults, teaching and learning in the classroom, homework and practise exercises, and general interest programming for the public.
“My Ministry intends to take some of the same technological learning tools our children use in day-to-day activities to help stimulate their young minds and encourage them to practise life-long learning,” he pointed out.
Describing life-long learning as an “exciting prospect”, Minister Todd added that the PBS would cater to those Barbadians, who, for one reason or another, want to re-educate themselves. “The PBS for Education in Barbados will have the capacity to offer certified online training courses for teachers, public officers, police officers, fire officers and the Defence Force,” he explained.
Programming for the radio and television stations will be targeted at infants, primary and secondary school levels as well as the general public. It will include; Listening Comprehension, Story-Telling, Religious Education, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Mental Arithmetic, Spanish and Geography.
The website will archive the material from the radio and television stations, in addition to offering programming for children, teens, teachers, parents and administrators.