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PM reaches out to UWI FI for help with the teaching of mathematics

by pointe team
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Against the backdrop of next month’s highly anticipated conference on Artificial
Intelligence here in Antigua and Barbuda, and the role that AI can play in the
classroom, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has reached out to the University of the
West Indies Five Islands Campus for help in delivering mathematics education in
the school system.
The appeal comes out of discussions last Saturday on the Browne and Browne
radio programme where the prime minister welcomed, UWI FIC Dean of
Academic Studies, Professor Curtis Charles, to discuss the upcoming conference.
Dr. Charles is the coordinator of the event.
During the programme, Dr. Charles revealed that as part of the conference, the
UWI will train 150 local teachers on the use of AI in the classroom.
On hearing this, PM Browne appealed to the professor to expand the initiative and
to design a programme utilizing AI that will be available to teach mathematics
across the entire education system.
“One of the areas we would want you to target is, we have always had a shortage
of math teachers, so we can use AI to simultaneously teach different classes, to
different schools. So, I don’t know if you can help us to mobilise all of our math
teachers to be involved in this programme so that we don’t have the situation
where some schools do not have enough contact time with math teachers.
Generally speaking, we have not been doing well in math and I am of the view that
having a more interactive methodology to teach math would prove a little more
helpful and to help them improve their grades,” he remarked.
Dr. Charles said its an initiative which he would wish to pursue post-conference,
when he said much of the work will take place.
He stated that Education Minister, Daryll Matthew is down to chair a panel where
the discussion will focus on the topic; ‘how do we re-imagine education in
Antigua and Barbuda and the Caribbean utilizing AI’.
The professor noted that across the Caribbean the average passes for math is 40
percent of those who write the exam. This, he added, is not good enough.

“We can talk about artificial intelligence all we want, but unless we have students
coming up from primary and secondary schools who have the capability (with
mathematics), we would be stagnating,” he declared.
Additionally, he said one of the reasons for hosting the conference is to bring to
Antigua and Barbuda persons who are able to teach AI remotely.

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