Jamaicans yearning for return to face-to-face classes - poll

Pollster Don Anderson
A majority of Jamaicans believe online teaching has not been effective and that the government has not provided sufficient resources to support that mode of education delivery.
It's the finding of the latest RJRGLEANER Don Anderson poll conducted August 19 to September 3 among 1,003 Jamaicans that 72 per cent of respondents do not believe that teaching online has been effective.
Lessons have mostly been delivered online since the covid-19 pandemic caused the government to close schools in March last year.
Pollster Don Anderson has revealed that 64 per cent of respondents said face-to-face classes must resume as quickly as possible.
Almost seven out of 10 people also said online classes have been ineffective.
A major challenge to online learning has been internet connectivity and access to devices.
Mr. Anderson says most Jamaicans believe the government has not given enough support to teachers, students and parents in that regard.
Seventy-five per responded in the negative to that question, he reported, saying it reflects the fact that "we have a whole bunch of students out there who don't have access to the internet and have not been given the level of support that they need to be able to continue with their education."
The education ministry has reported that thousands of children have attended no classes since remote learning started and has been making efforts to get back to face-to-face classes.
While most Jamaicans do not believe online teaching has been effective so far, views are more mixed on whether that mode of lesson delivery should be continued in secondary schools after covid-19.
Anderson revealed that 42 per cent of persons interviewed said some element of online teaching should continue.
"If we did a cross-analysis of that , we'd more than likely find that these are the people who thought that internet support was adequate," he said.
On the other hand, he said, 58 per cent said no to the idea of this mode of education continuing post COVID-19.
This, he said, "shows up the negatives associated with full acceptance of online teaching."

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