Africa-Press – Seychelles. Two experts from the Renaissance learning team in the United Kingdom are in the country to conduct refresher training sessions with local focal persons responsible for the Renaissance reading programme in primary schools across the country.
The aim of those training sessions, which will also take place on Praslin for the focal persons on the inner islands, is to ensure that all teachers on the programme are empowered to go and roll out the ‘MyOn’ online book platform to students in their respective schools.
It is also an opportunity for them to share their knowledge and best practices.
‘MyOn’ is a student-centered, personalised digital library that gives students access to more than 6,000 enhanced digital books in the core collection.
The Renaissance reading programme, launched in 2020, is to contribute to the improvement of reading skills and reading capabilities of students in the schools. By doing this, they also gather knowledge in IT. The online reading platform provides around 6000 educational and leisure books. The first training session, facilitated by Lauren Shapiro, assistant director of professional services and Chris Job, the project manager, was held on Monday at the Seychelles Institute for Teacher Education (Site) for focal persons for primary schools on Mahé.
The director general for Allied Education Services, Cyril Pillay, said that the Renaissance reading programme is part of the ministry’s strategic objectives to bring education to the next level with the use of ICT technologies.
“The ministry wants that all schools become ICT enabled and when you have such a reading project which permits students access to many books online, it also allows access to data information that we could use to improve literacy and learning,” said Mr Pillay, who noted that the ministry is also working to address internet issues in schools.
Mrs Shapiro described the three-year partnership with the Ministry of Education as phenomenal where through the programme, exciting initiatives have been taken and great progress made.
She stated that students in the country have since the start of the programme read over 1.06 million minutes and a total of 168,000 books on ‘MyOn’.
“We’re really seeing the progress take off, we’re seeing students read for pleasure and really improving their reading skills and capabilities,” Mrs Shapiro said.
All primary students have their own password to log into the reading platform at school or at home. Apart from some students who bring their own devices, the students are provided by the schools with IT materials such as tablets and laptops for the reading sessions during class, break and lunch times and after school hours.
All focal persons who talked to the press said that the programme is greatly beneficial to learning as it helps the students improve their vocabularies and also to enhance their understanding of other subjects such as maths and science.
“It’s great to have this kind of training from time to time and what I have learnt today I will share it with my other colleagues at school so that we will all be on par level when attending to our students,” said Sandra Ismael, librarian at Au Cap primary school.
“Since we have been using ‘MyOn’ as part of the students’ learning programme, we have seen a great improvement in their vocabularies and in the use of technology. Our students are really engaged in reading online. Last week they read over 800 books and that is a great achievement,” said Lina Pillay, deputy head teacher at Glacis primary school.
The Renaissance learning team is expected to visit the Glacis primary school tomorrow and the Baie Ste Anne Praslin primary school on Friday followed by a training session for focal persons from the inner islands.