The Need for a National Education Technology Plan (NETP)

first_imgAs Liberia endeavors to revamp its education sector, there will be a need for a National Education Technology Plan (NETP) requiring the integration of technology in all schools in order to prepare the new generation of Liberians for the challenges of the 21st Century. This plan should, inter alia, require students to take technology courses from 6th grade and upwards. This will allow students who cannot afford to go to college after graduation from high school to be prepared for entry level jobs.Sometime in December of 2009, a young lady had asked me to write her a letter of recommendation. In her hand was a copy of the newspaper carrying the advertisement of the job for which she had intended to apply. Two “CONSPICUOUS” requirements for the position being advertised were: (1). Must have a high school diploma and (2). MUST BE COMPUTER LITERATE. As I read the requirements, I asked the young lady if she was computer literate. She told me she had never touched a computer and that she was disappointed over the possibility of not getting the job because of this reason. I knew that with a tight and somehow competitive job market, her chances of getting the job without experience or computer skills were absolutely slim. And so, as a consolation, I offered to pay her tuition at a local computer school in Monrovia which charged US$50 for introductory computer courses.The clause “MUST BE COMPUTER LITERATE” has become mundane across the global spectrum because we are in the Information Age. However, it has become an “opportunity killer” for Liberian students who graduate from high school with desire to enter the workforce as an alternative to college. The problem is, most Liberian students do not have the opportunity of taking computer classes while in high school because only few schools (i.e. B. W. Harris School) have access to computers or something that parallels a computer education program. This lack of comprehensive computer/technology program in schools, forces high school graduates to attend computer schools, in order to obtain the skills needed to apply for jobs. And, most of them can barely afford the cost of attending those computer schools.Education is the key to Liberia’s economic growth, prosperity, sustainability and its ability to compete in the global economy. It is the conduit to good jobs and higher earning potential for Liberians. It fosters the cross-border and cross-cultural collaboration that are desperately needed to solve the most challenging and evolving problems of our time. But modern education requires the integration of technology. And technology, as we all know is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work today, therefore, it is imperative that we leverage it to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences.To integrate technology in our educational system, we will need to develop and implement a National Education Technology Plan (NETP) which will espouse a revolutionary transformation of the Liberian educational system. This Plan will require the integration of technology in schools and present a model for 21st Century learning driven by technology. It will discuss innovation, prompt implementation, regular evaluation, and continuous improvement. It will kindle a shift from the currently practiced 19th Century educational paradigms toward 21st Century student-centric paradigms. Our educational system will be transformed to one in which teachers play the role of facilitators and certainly not sole deliverers of information in the classroom. This will allow students to think critically and engage the learning process more enthusiastically.To begin this initiative, we will need to establish a Technical Working Group. A group that will encompass the following: universities, representatives of primary and secondary schools, ICT professionals, educators, representatives from the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders. This team will be charged with the development of a document that will lead to a revolutionary transformation of the Liberian education system.Currently, Liberian schools lack two main things that are required for 21st Century education: the technological infrastructure that enables this new pedagogical paradigm and teachers who have the training in and knowledge of this new approach. Most, if not all, Liberian educators lack computer or technology skills which is part of the daily lives of professionals in other sectors. The same can be said of many of the educational leaders and policymakers in schools and the higher education institutions responsible to prepare new educators to teach in schools. Therefore, professional development (pre-service and in-service) should be strongly encouraged. Professional development for teachers can also be enhanced when integrated with online communities for collaborative learning. Collaborating with educators in the global community will greatly expand the “horizons” of Liberian educators.This NETP will be an opportunity for change and when implemented will revolutionize our education system. This change will be driven by emerging technologies and the national need to radically improve the country’s education sector. The Ministry of Education has to play a major role in identifying effective strategies to ensure the implementation of this plan. Moreover, the parents, teachers and et al, must be a part of this initiative if it is to succeed. If we cannot reform education in Liberia, then maybe we should begin thinking about revolutionizing it. Of course, this is merely my opinion!!Until next week,Carpe diem!!!!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Fivestar team goes 8-2 at Fivestar Fight League 18: Regenesis

first_imgThe full results from Fivestar Fight League 18: Regenesis are as follows:Carson Benedict (Kelowna) vs. Travis Lesschaeve (Grande Prairie)* Lesschaeve wins via Unanimous DecisionAshley Rouble (Fort St. John) vs. Kali Bachman (Kamloops)*Exhibition BoutTommy Malyar (Fort St. John) vs. Cody Banner (Grande Prairie)*Malyar wins via Unanimous DecisionNick Young (Fort St. John) vs. Mohammad Inaim (Vancouver)*Young wins via Unanimous DecisionRaymond Brown (Grande Prairie) vs. James Mott (Quesnel)*Mott wins via Split DecisionThomas Pope (Fort St. John) vs. Peter Student (Grande Prairie)*Pope wins via Unanimous DecisionTravis Lussier (Fort St. John) vs. Raphael Bergmann (Grande Prairie)*Exhibition BoutCameron Gibbs (Fort St. John) vs. Cory Antrim (Prince George)*Antrim wins via TKOBrayden Sims (Fort St. John) vs. Peyton Rakestraw (Grande Prairie)*Sims wins via TKONick Dragojevich (Fort St. John) vs. Austin Douglas (Fort St. John)*Douglas wins via Unanimous DecisionEddie Scarfo (Fort St. John) vs. Ethan Krystal (Grande Prairie)*Scarfo wins via Unanimous DecisionLandon Beasley (Fort St. John) vs. Joshua Ryan (Grande Prairie)*Beasley wins via Unanimous DecisionZach Bower (Grande Prairie) vs. Emmett Emblau (Quesnel)*Bower wins via Unanimous DecisionElvis Walter (Fort St. John) vs. Landon Swartz (Quesnel)*Kids Exhibition BoutKonnor Simograd (Fort St John) vs. Trace McGregor (Quesnel)*Kids Exhibition Bout FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The ballroom at the Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre was jammed to the rafters on Good Friday for the first-ever sanctioned boxing event in Fort St. John’s history.Fivestar Fight League 18: Regenesis represented a turning point for Fivestar owner Justin Donally, who hosted the Energetic City’s first-ever mixed martial arts event several years ago.32 boxers from across the Peace Region and further beyond took to the ring last Friday. Among the athletes in competition were boxers as young as eight, though Donally explained that those are merely exhibition matches. “There’s no winner or loser until they’re 11 or 12 years old, then they’re scored.” Boxers from the Fivestar’s Boxing Academy’s athletes went 8-and-2 on the night, though one of those matches featured two of the gym’s boxers.- Advertisement -17 year-old Nick Young, who has emerged as one of the gym’s promising young boxers, continued his winning streak on Friday. Fighting against the Surrey School of Boxing’s Mohammad Inaim, Young dominated his opponent, winning via unanimous decision. With the win, Young improved his record to 8-0, and was also given the honour of Fighter of the Night. Young and Inaim’s bout was also named Fight of the Night. For Young, the fight was a nice change after facing left-handed boxers in his last two battles. “I was glad to fight an orthodox fighter again, it was nice to have that change,” said Young. “It was a fun fight, tough. He had a weird style, he would come out swinging and I would just duck under, and he would grab on a lot.”Ashley Rouble, also 17, fought against her Team B.C. teammate Kali Gawley from Kamloops in an Exhibition bout ahead of the pair’s appearance at the 2017 Canadian Boxing Championships in Quebec City next week. For Rouble, the fight was a great way to prepare for her upcoming appearance at Nationals. “Mine was really fun. It was kind-of the opposite of Nick, for me there was no pressure, just get in there and put on a show,” said Rouble. “She’s my teammate so we took care of each other in there, but we still went full speed.”Donally says that the fights were an excellent showcase for the city as a venue for future BC Boxing events. Donally says that he has put in a bid to host BC Golden Gloves in 2018, and that tlast weekend’s event wowed the judges.Advertisementlast_img read more