Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the systemic problems in our systems have been exposed. Some of these problems are long-standing and have been identified before but with the mandatory lockdowns and closures, they have become even more pressing. Apart from the obvious issues in our healthcare systems and our economy, another sector that has been suffering tremendously is education.
Since schools closed their doors and transitioned into an online learning environment, parents, students, and teachers have been having varying experiences. Many of these experiences have been negative and many of these cries have fallen on deaf ears.
On Thursday 8th April, alongside Tanice Powell Williams of Project Jaguar – an award-winning digital education hub, Chaneil Imhoff conducted a Google Classroom Training Session with the Teachers of the Parham Primary School.
President and CEO of Project Jaguar Trevaun Solomon remarked that “Professional development has always been an important goal to us. We’re always ready to work towards that. Increasing accessibility to quality education for students definitely starts with teachers having the necessary skills. So that’s what we’re prepared to do,” when asked about their partnership with Imhoff’s Team for this activity.
The two-hour session facilitated via Zoom and a blended learning environment covered the basics of Google Classroom and equipped the teachers with tools and resources that will improve their knowledge of the education platform.
Grade Six Teacher, Miss Alexis Murray noted that “The training was very informative and enlightening. She says that it is important because there are still teachers who are not familiar with Google Classroom and the Training would have shown them how to make their classrooms more interactive for the students.” Murray also said that the Subject Area Coordinators from the Ministry should try to conduct workshops and provide additional resources on how to integrate technology into the various aspects of the curriculum.
Imhoff added that “Often when we talk about education, we tend to focus only on the students and parents and not on the educators that have been given such a daunting task. As a parent, I have seen some of the difficulties being faced first-hand and I have an appreciation for the amount of work that has to be done to efficiently run a virtual classroom.” She added that the objective of the training session was to not only demonstrate a commitment to the School but to equip the teachers with the tools they need in order to be successful.
To ensure that our students get the best education possible under the circumstances, our educators must be listened to and adequately prepared.
The Principal of Parham Primary, Mr. Donald Joshua remarked that the training was very interactive and hopes to see the acquired knowledge in action next week when school reopens.
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