Ministry of Education, Guyana

News Updates

Monday, 31 July 2017 11:16

CXC Mobile App – CXC Connect launched

With many expressions of elation Hon. Minister Nicolette Henry was among the lot of privileged officials who lauded the launch of the CXC Mobile App – CXC Connect. Hosted at the Giftland Mall.news 20170731

Over the years, CXC has conducted many stakeholder engagement sessions.  Invariably, the biggest complaint has been the lack of communication. Mobile is the latest channel being leveraged to consistently improve how communication is done with stakeholders.  In that regard, the app was built to help CXC improve communication with its stakeholders. 
Minister Henry in her remarks reflected on the time period of 2009, when former Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council, Dr. Didacus Jules summed up one of the major challenges of education in the region with the words, “We are teaching digital children in analog classrooms.” 
She noted that while Dr. Jules has moved upward to the post of the Secretary-General of the Organisation of East Caribbean States, the innovation unveiled on Monday is clearly the first significant fruit of the seed planted eight years ago.
Even as innovation continues Minister Henry advised that there must never be a lost of sight regarding the need to mediate, to intervene and adjust, in the application of new technology into education. 
It is no secret too for the experienced educators of how profoundly disruptive single user device modern communication technology has been in classrooms, particularly with the advent of social media platforms.
This, the Minister said is perhaps the most daunting challenge in the rollout of such a program, not so much navigating past the turbulent waves of distraction and dysfunction that is social media and the Internet in general, but harnessing them to steer the course into the future.  news 20170731 1
Minister Henry questioned whose hand is currently better for manning the sails?  “Does it belong to those of my generation who are in charge of policy and whose first experience with a keyboard was that of a typewriter?  Or does it belong to the young woman who came of age with the rise of the touchscreen display?  I suspect the answer, either way, is not as clear-cut as some might want to believe.”
Minister Henry also addressed another almost equally important challenge which concerns the issue of inequity in the education system.  “One of the first challenges the current government of Guyana sought to address was that of the often-glaring inequity in access to education, particularly between our rural inland and coastal communities.”
Highlighted also was the result of the challenges which was His Excellency, President David Granger’s 5 Bs Initiative – the targeted provision of boats, buses, bicycles, breakfast, and books to disadvantaged school children.   The idea there was simple, the resources relatively easy to mobilise, the management sustainable, the impact easily measurable.  It’s the sort of program that easily gained public goodwill and corporate community support. 
But with this program, however Minister Henry noted the new potential dimension of inequity that looms before us, in Guyana but in the rest of the Caribbean which is Access to this application. “The website will no doubt be transformative to the child with a laptop, a smartphone, and an Internet connection.  But these very things widen the access gap between that child and the child in the Hinterland, for example, who has no Internet connection or, in some cases, access to electricity.  This is a challenge we in government remain cognizant of as we are currently exploring telecommunication sector reform and the expansion of ICT infrastructure across the country.”news 20170731 11
Notwithstanding the challenges the Minister noted, “we are truly in exciting times, where ICT is, at last, providing a chance for our countries to be globally competitive in innovation and education.”
She also referenced two weeks ago as an example, Guyana’s fledgling robotics team, STEM Guyana, placed 10th out of 165 participating countries, sister CARICOM country Trinidad placing 16th.  
“New tech startups around the region are changing the business and education landscape, whether it is the award-winning Intellect-Storm from Guyana or the award-winning Book-Fusion from Jamaica. 
The history of the Caribbean has always been a history of the imagination, of innovation, of problem-solving, under the most challenging circumstances.  It is these qualities that are best suited for the brave new opportunities before us when it comes to integrating ICT into our development, providing we do so in sustainable, scalable, equitable ways.”
While applauding the step forward which the Minister dubbed as tremendous towards the future.  At the same time, the Minister advised CXC to “let’s also ensure that at the same time we do not leave one foot mired in the past.”
The name of the CXC mobile app is CXC Connect which was devised following an internal staff App Naming competition. The winning entry was submitted by Mildred Daniel who felt that the features of the app gave stakeholders the ability to easily connect with CXC.
One-on-one with the CXC App officials
Q 1.  What are the main features?
CXC Answer: The app has 5 main features.   The first is a newsfeed that pulls content from our website and social media. We can also post custom content on our news feed.  Users can share items in the newsfeed with friends on Facebook, Whatsapp, Email and more.  The second feature is our FAQs. We have a library of FAQs organized into categories where users can.
We also have a chat feature that allows the users to have a live conversation with an agent at CXC.  The app has an event feature that allows you to view the upcoming events and provide you will relevant event details and directions to the event locations. One of the most exciting features is that students now have the ability to check examinations results anytime, anywhere once they are open.  Candidates and parents can check their examination results.
Q2.  What versions of the app are available and where can we download the app?
CXC Answer: The app is designed for Android and iOS devices. This includes mobile and tablet devices. The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store and on the Google Play Store.
Q3. What features can we expect in the future releases of the application?
CXC Answer: The app will become a comprehensive source of information and resources. There will be information on our examinations and subject offerings. Our SBA forms, manuals, syllabuses, past papers, timetables, etc. We are also looking to build an app to help persons who are deciding what subjects they should choose and information regarding careers they may be interested in. These features will leverage modern solutions such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to provide a more personalized experience.
Q4. Who are you targeting with the app?
We serve a wide range of stakeholder groups. The content of the app will be useful to all stakeholder groups. However, some features will be more benefit to learners, teachers, and parents.
 
Read 1200 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 August 2017 10:16
You are here: Home Media CXC Mobile App – CXC Connect launched