Thirteen locally-based school teachers have received training to deliver distance learning and to use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education during and beyond the the COVID-19 crisis.
The training was made possible through the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) Distance Learning and Teacher Training programme.
Minister for Education Dr Natalio Wheatley said the knowledge provided in this programme will aid educators in executing effective and meaningful lessons online with their students.
“I am pleased that educators are advancing their skillsets and congratulate all 13 educators who received a certificate of completion in the programme,” the Education Minister added.
Secretary-General for the BVI National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Allison Flax-Archer said the outbreak of the COVID
-19 pandemic forced school closures and while the Virgin Islands
bounced back quicker than its Caribbean counterparts, there were still some difficulties faced as teachers needed to move quickly from a traditional classroom to an online learning environment.
“The UNESCO distance learning training has provided teachers with tools and resources to equip them as they continue to navigate their way through the online learning platform. We should always be ready to shift should the need arise. Congratulations to our teachers,” Dr Flax-Archer stated.
The local cohort that received training were part of 12,440 teachers within the Caribbean who participated in the programme.
The Lent Term for the 2021-2022 school year, commenced on January 6, through online learning as a precaution to keep students safe due to the rapid increase of COVID
-19 cases. Locally-based teachers have had to adapt quickly to the online learning sphere and have been conducting classes remotely, whether fully or through a hybrid learning system, since the pandemic started in 2020.
Chief Education Officer, Dr Connie George said she was pleased to see that teachers took advantage of the course.
“This shows me that our educators are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to ensure that they have the necessary resources and skills to be effective in the classroom and be prepared for the current demands of the teaching and learning process,” Dr George said.
“Since the start of COVID
-19 and education had to move to online, many of the regional and international organisations have offered many free courses for educators. We have been informing all educators through our Virgin Islands. schools blast email method of the courses,” the Chief Education Officer stated.
Teachers are invited to participate in the upcoming training session which is scheduled for August 2022. The course will introduce teachers to basic digital skills, remote learning methods, and pedagogical use of ICT for teaching as well as equip them with the skills and resources to deliver alternate and appropriate forms of remote learning using no-, low-, and high-tech digital tools.