Online Training 2020
July 19, 2020
TRAINING AND CTP CERTIFICATION
As a result of the COVID-19 the Community Development Department (CDD) is forced to rethink the ways it delivers its community based programmes. Online learning has been established as the best alternative for continuing to ensure that Barbadians benefit from the Community Technology Programme (CTP) and the Information Technology Summer Teens Programme (ITS For Teens)
The CDD is therefore proposed a plan for achieving this, that would not be restricted to ICT courses but will also apply to CDD community based training – i.e. Community Art Programme (CAP) and Community Impact Training (CIP)
Such training has already commenced in the Community Arts Programme, a result of the initiative of the CAP tutor, Dwayne Mayers, in order to complete class room training which was affected due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDD has already acquired Centre and Qualification approval from the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council (TVET) for some of its resource centres and training courses. The process of acquiring this for all CDD courses and additional community centres will be continuing. Similarly, efforts will continue to have additional staff members and tutors trained as Certified Assessors for the courses.
CTP ONLINE REQUIREMENTS
A number of factors were contingent to the plan being achieved. These include the following:
a) An active website and social media presence on most of the major social media networks was established,
b) CDD/CTP accessed suitable, affordable online learning platform, and requisite software,
c) Staff and CTP personnel were adequately prepared to facilitate the training,
d) The necessary resources and equipment was acquired to enable the training processes,
e) A questionnaire was developed to ensure that students was equipped with the required access to the internet and all other necessary tools and devices
f) Minimum upgrade of some centres was undertaken.
Online Learning Platforms
The Community Development Department secured free license from Google to utilize their ‘G-Suite’ Google learning platform while offering free community training.
Modules were developed to offer the requisite training to staff and tutors in preparation for online community courses
Facilities, Resources and Equipment
The equipped internet labs currently at resource centres provide most of the machines that will be needed to furnish those centres without computers, while remaining well enough equipped to serve as ‘bases’ from which some limited training will be conducted and lessons practiced.
A determination was made of what additional equipment may be needed and of the total number of personnel who will be required. The CDD has explored various options for enabling students who have no access to the requisite learning tools in order to ensure that these tools are made available.
Online Training courses will focus on basic software applications, research facilities and training for direct employment. These will include Access, Publisher, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Web-Page Design, Computer Graphics, Computer and Cell-phone repairs. Those courses recently added to the CTP will also be offered, such as Building Drawings, Quick Books, Computer Programming, Database Management and Software Applications. Training will be in three (3) month to six (6) months modules.
Short workshops and ongoing seminars will be provided on Online Banking and Conducting Business Online. These will benefit seniors, many of whom are already computer literate having completed the CTP courses and now need to avoid commuting long distances. These will also accommodate Public and Private Sector entities who may be encouraged to offer training in communities to further decentralise and promote online services.
CDD has continued to make the CTP more modern, relevant and attractive by developing new ICT courses in response to the expressed needs of the Community. Consequently, it is now being offered at nineteen (19) resources centres, and two churches, thirteen (13) additional facilities compared with eight (8) which started the programme in 2002.
Additionally, Community centres will also now serve as internet facilities (Community Cafes) for residents with no such facilities of their own, (e.g. adults doing business and maintaining connections and students conducting research and completing homework).
The expected outcomes will be to have communities enriched with the social capital that is measurable qualitatively and quantitatively and that translates into more unified, productive and flourishing communities where:
a) the average household is equipped with computer training and easier internet access,
b) Partnerships exist with the 3rd Sector and Corporate Barbados in the execution of the programme and for mutual benefit.
c) Parents and previously CTP trained seniors hone computer skills, utilising these to strengthening family bonds and demonstrate greater intergenerational social support.
d) Parents demonstrate more willingness to support children and teachers in formal and informal educational arenas thereby reflecting an improvement in family dynamics and functioning.
e) The technological literacy of the average Barbadian, is developed to enable higher levels of participation in policy formulation, policy implementation, in accessing service provisions and in conducting business.
f) Existing in-equities are reduced among students and youth regarding the benefits of modern technology to their education, innovative capacity and creativity while providing them with healthy alternatives to antisocial practices.
DETAILS OF THE PLAN
• Application forms and other information are available on the websites.
• The CDD has obtained approval from Google to use the full G-Suite, but is also exploring other platforms to select the best suited for our students and tutors.
• CDD staff will required to assist applicants with navigating the website, completing applications online and by providing needed information.
• CDD staff are trained in how to use the platforms, as their duties will include scheduling and monitoring classes, uploading information for courses, logging tutors hours just to name a few etc.
• In addition to CDD staff, Tutors and CTP Programme Assistants, the staff of the Ministry of Youth and Community Empowerment (MYCE) are also trained.
• All users should have access to the requisite technologies (computers with internet access, and the ability to access the resource centre’s database and email). To this end an Online Ready Questionnaire has been developed to be completed with persons who have participated previously in the CTP to ascertain their readiness for the online training as well as the ways in which the CDD may assisting them in becoming ready
• Some classes will be recorded for easy reference.