Provincial Math Exams: Online tutors to help students prepare

Here’s another project being done ostensibly with money ‘saved’ by the teachers’ strike. Am I being too cynical if i imply that the government seems bent on showing how much better our education system would be if we paid teachers’ less? or are they campaigning for a shorter school year with enforced furloughs? If I were I teacher I think that by now -if I weren’t already- I’d be getting rather frustrated by the way the government is throwing money and then telling everyone that they got it from me. As a parent I stand with many others who are getting tired of fund raising for essential learning resources and having budgets as large of the principals’ to distribute. Something’s not working. I can see the teachers working; I can see my fellow parents working. Perhaps the government isn’t working? Not a new thought of course.

Here’s the press release on online tutors for Provincial Math exam prep.

VICTORIA – B.C. students enrolled in Principles of Math 12 will be able to get help from online tutors to prepare for the Feb. 8 provincial exam, Education Minister Shirley Bond announced today.

“We want to maximize opportunities that allow our students to reach their full potential,” said Bond. “That’s why we’re introducing a pilot online tutoring program that will give students writing the Principles of Math 12 exam the extra help they need to achieve their best.”Any Principles of Math 12 student in B.C. can use the tutoring service by visiting online. Students will have access to online lessons, practice exams and tutoring sessions with B.C.-certified teachers. Between Jan. 18 and Feb. 7, teachers will be available in an online classroom Monday through Thursday from 7-9 p.m. Tutoring will also be offered from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4 and Sunday, Feb. 5.

“Today’s students are as comfortable using a computer as they are using a pen and paper,” said Bond. “This online tutoring program is recognition of that fact, and is an exciting opportunity for all students – no matter where they live in B.C.”

The program will be offered through BCEd Online, an e-learning consortium made up of 41 school districts that partner with post-secondary institutions, online learning organizations, teacher groups, private
industry and government. BCEd Online supports online learning for students who learn in the classroom and at a distance.

“The Ministry of Education and BCEd Online are using interactive technology to provide students – particularly in rural communities – with more options,” said Barry Carbol, executive director of BCEd Online. “The tutoring program is one of the many ways our member school districts are using technology to help students do better on exams and in school.”

The online tutoring program will cost $13,000, with funds coming from the $126 million in savings reported by school districts due to the teachers’ job action. The Province has also adjusted the provincial exam schedule to allow students more time to study and prepare for their January exams. The exams will start one week later, on Feb. 6.

Over the last year, the Province has provided more than $6 million to improve technology in B.C. classrooms. The funding includes $1 million to put almost 12,000 additional computers in schools, and $2.1 million to launch pilot laptop computer projects in 12 school districts and support electronic learning in rural schools.