TT students help over 4,000 students learn online

TT students (L-R) Anastasia Sunnelal, Alesha Douglas and Chekieva Phillip will be providing free online classes over the next three weeks, to assist students affected by school closures due to covid19. -
TT students (L-R) Anastasia Sunnelal, Alesha Douglas and Chekieva Phillip will be providing free online classes over the next three weeks, to assist students affected by school closures due to covid19. -

Despite school closures around the Caribbean due to the covid19 pandemic, over 3,900 regional students are being given the chance to continue studying from home thanks to free online classes organised by three TT secondary school students.

The trio – Alesha Douglas, Chekieva Phillip and Anastasia Sunnelal – started their project, Online Tutor Services TT, in January to be financially independent and to assist students in their studies. But following the PM’s announcement on March 17 that schools would be closed until April 20, and observing similar measures being taken by other regional leaders in a move to reduce the potential community spread of covid19, they decided to offer free classes to ensure the academic continuity of regional students.

Phillip and Douglas spoke to Newsday about the motivation for and response to the free classes.

Phillip said, “We have exams soon and have not completed our entire syllabus for all subjects.

“We imagined there would be other students in the same position as well. Exams would be approaching whether it is rescheduled or not.”

Phillip, 18, is a sixth form Manzanilla Secondary School student preparing for CAPE.

Douglas, 17, a fifth form student at St Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando, preparing for the CSEC exams said the trio started Online Tutor Services TT with just mathematics, biology and management, being offered. Within a few days they were able to attract regional students thanks to the networks they built as Caribbean participants in the 2019/2020 US Youth Ambassadors programme.

“With that networking we were able to bring on board our friends from Barbados and soon that expanded to having tutors from Guyana, Barbados and St Lucia.

“What started off as three tutors, has now grown to 30 tutors. We do 19 CAPE subjects and 15 CSEC subjects,” said Douglas of the online services which uses Google Classroom, Zoom and Skype, for virtual teaching sessions.

“It’s about giving one-on-one classes to students who may lack the ability to function in large classrooms and need one-on-one attention to do homework, past-papers or learn about stuff from their syllabus,” added Phillip.

While their tutoring services usually cost $200 per subject per month, they said they could not sit quietly as schools closed due to the covid19 pandemic. They soon announced free classes on their platforms.

Online registration for the free classes opened on March 20 and instantly attracted over 1,000 regional students. An estimated 3,900 students from around the region attended their first round of classes on Monday.

Noting that everyone has a part to play in the covid19 response, Phillip said, "Even though students may be home, they may become restless and may decide to neglect their studies.

“We just want students to keep focussed on their schoolwork and not stray, as it's very easy to stray from your usual routine while home.”

Douglas added, “I try to live everyday by the quote which says our prime purpose in life is to help others.

“We also own a youth organisation called the Rise Youth Organisation and it provides educational and entrepreneurial skills to youths because we see the value in education.”

Tutors conducing the free classes include sixth form students, professionals in different fields including lawyers and university students. The free classes are expected to continue for the next three weeks.

Students and parents interested in learning more about the free classes can send an email to and find them on social media. Their Instagram handle is and Facebook page is: Online Tutor Services TT. People interested in tutoring can also get in touch as part of their aim to provide employment to young people in secondary schools and university.


"TT students help over 4,000 students learn online"

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