The Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) is calling for Education Minister Fayval Williams to set a timeline for the provision of full internet access, which will boost online learning.
JTA President Jasford Gabriel said Mrs Williams' experience with the Technology Ministry will enable her to push for internet coverage to facilitate students doing classes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Gabriel said several children continue to be at a disadvantage due to the lack of broadband internet.
"Because the truth is, while we understand that nothing can substitute for face-to-face instruction in the short term, we must understand that based on the trend we are seeing with this pandemic - and we look at what has happened across the country, the world, in some other schools - schools have been opened and then have to be closed because of breakout of the virus and so we must realise that we have to make sure that we have reliable internet across the country," he pointed out.
Mr. Garbiel explained that he directed the request to the Education Minister instead of Technology Minister Daryl Vaz because "those kinds of networking and connections need ministerial representations" and improvements in internet access are "critical in terms of the advancement of education."
He said an update is also needed in terms of the announcement in March that telecoms firm Digicel would expand internet services in about 100 rural communities.
Mr. Gabriel was speaking Monday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106.