With its inception in 2013, it pleases us to know that at the end of 2014, our Computer Assisted Learning Programme has a little over one hundred students utilizing the software at our various sites. These sites include: NaRCIE (National Resource Center for Inclusive Education), Eglah’s Training Center for Women and Families, Youth Hostel, UBAD Educational Foundation: (UEF), and St. Martin De Porres Catholic Primary School which includes students from the Metamorphosis Project and Project HEAL (St Martins Literacy Program). Apart from this, it should be known that some of the students enrolled in the programme are participants from one of our other programmes, the Metamorphosis Project. However, come January of 2015 there should be an increase in the number students benefitting from this programme as there will be an increase in the amount of sites having the software. It should be noted that this programme is being offered in collaboration with the Literacy Unit of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Literacy without Borders (LWB) Initiative based in Alberta, Canada, and community-based agencies. Apart from this, UNICEF aids the continuous functioning of this programme.
So, during the course of 2014 request for proposals were sent to schools and community centers. We received proposals from four institutions. After visiting each institution and analyzing their proposals, the decision was made as to which institution would receive the license for the software. It was sad having to choose only one. However, we only have one software license available at the moment. Nevertheless, we thanked each of the institutions for requesting the software and encouraged them to continue to seek funding for the computer assisted learning software.
Each site has their own coach/es that were trained by a trained professional in the use of the software. These sites offering the programme are staffed with coaches who cater to the student’s literacy and numeracy needs. Also, these coaches act as each student’s personal motivator in order for them to experience enhanced self-esteem and self-efficacy that will enable them to perform better academically, socially and economically in their adolescent and adult years.
Therefore, at the end of 2014 there is a little of over one hundred students enrolled at our sites. Progress report revealed that a handful of students are meeting and exceeding our expectations as they have performed at least two or more grade levels above their entry level. Henceforth, we are looking forward to an increase in students once we have more sites delivering the computer assisted literacy and numeracy programme. Also, this will allow us to fully cater to our target groups. Therefore, this will enable us to accomplish some of our outcomes as stipulated within our Strategic Plan (Human Development Pillar) as there will be an increase in primary and secondary school participation, improvement in employment for youth and families living in poverty as well as improvement in community participation and leadership among youths. Hence, once these students have fully attained their education, realizing that they themselves can make the changes they want to see in our beloved Belize, we can rest assured we have restored Belize.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela