Schools undergo online learning training

The Samoa Information Technology Association (S.I.T.A.) started an e-learning initiative on Tuesday for schools' involved in a United Nations Development Programme.

This week’s training focuses on teachers and how they can navigate the Moodle online learning platform and make use of it.

Seven schools were selected by the S.I.T.A. for the training, which kicked off on Tuesday for Leififi College. 

Training for teachers will continue for three weeks before the S.I.T.A. turns its efforts towards students. 

The seven schools consist of three from Savaii and four from Upolu: Avele College, Samoa College, Leififi College, Chanel College, Mataaevave College, Amoa College and Itu-o-Tane College. 

The president of the S.I.T.A., Muliagatele Fainuulelei James Ah Wai, said the initiative came about after discussions with the Government amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Our e-Learning Project Manager, Mailo Henry Mailo, came up with this brilliant idea of e-Learning despite our limited knowledge," Muliagatele said via email. 

The S.I.T.A. partnership with the U.N.D.P. will provide the internet for two years to participating schools to help the development of a platform and increase its capability by including new features such as cyber security, plagiarism detection, and interactive class sessions.

Muliagatele added that the target audience of the initiative is students in Year 13 who are preparing to enter their preparatory year or foundation level  of university.

The training is divided across three levels; Teachers, Admins and students.

"Part of our current training for students this year is the inclusion of awareness training for a safer internet," Muliagatele added. 

"We hope to develop local admins for each school for sustainability after two years' of the project. 

"The learning content materials for each school is the responsibility of the teachers and their local admins. Security is paramount [to] our design."

Muliagatele said that they spent a lot of time researching and learning how the platform works and testing its reliability, accessibility and security.

Avele was the first school to pilot the platform. 

"It was a huge success and they are the lead school within this project and are still very active in using the platform. We were blessed with the involvement of our main partners Vodafone and Digicel to deliver this platform to the selected schools by offering internet connectivity in the form of student sims and free WiFi routers," Muliagatele said. 

The first week of training for Leififi College wrapped up on Friday as the team prepares to head to Savaii. 

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