The Chinese Ambassador is commending the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training for advancing the island’s online teaching and learning platform to ensure the continuity of education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As he handed over 12 laptops to Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw this morning, Chinese Ambassador Yan Xiusheng, said that in such a dynamic digital world students must be equipped with high technological devices and skills to make sure they remain with the trend and are not left behind.
He said it is important to bridge the digital divide with more and easy access to the internet and advanced technology as a necessary means to create a more balanced and inclusive world.
“Digitization and intelligentization are the general trend of the 21 century, while to some extent, these processes have been advanced further by COVID-19.
“Many new industries and business models based on internet and digital skills, like online shopping, virtual meetings, remote education, etc., have been engendered and thrived in our course of COVID-19 response. 5G, big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing continue to grow and wait for the blossom in the post COVID-19 era,” he said during the presentation which took place at the Chinese Embassy, Rockley, Christ Church.
The Ambassador also announced that the Chinese Government Scholarship program will continue this year despite the pandemic. He revealed that eleven students have applied for the scholarship.
“My colleagues in China are working hard to finalize the preparatory work for them. I hope good news can soon come to them,” Xiusheng said.
Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw thanked the Embassy for the donation and said she looked forward to the additional devices that are yet to come. Bradshaw noted that during the early stages of the pandemic, the country stood in solidarity with the People’s Republic of China, which also assisted Barbados in the area of public health through the donation of medical supplies and other assistance.
She added that Barbados stands to benefit from China’s experience and success in the area of online teaching since this is where the country is now headed.
Bradshaw said she was pleased that despite the ongoing pandemic, several Barbadians have submitted applications for the Chinese student exchange programme.
“I look forward to the applications being accepted and to the situation globally being able to change to allow students wanting to pursue their education overseas… to take up those opportunities.
“I think when we listen to students who participated in the programme in the past it appears that it is more than an educational experience. It is a cultural experience and I think that that has made our students the better for it,” Bradshaw said.
The Education Minister also indicated that many of the students who were stuck in China during the initial week of the pandemic have returned home and are participating in online classes. She said those students must be commended for adjusting to the situation.
“We look forward to the situation across the world resolving itself as we get ready to open back up the economy in a major way in terms of commercial flights coming into the country once again. I do believe that the borders in relation to visiting China again will be on the horizon in the near future and we certainly look forward to allowing our students to participate in the programmes that would have been offered,” Bradshaw said. [email protected]
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