The COVID-19 pandemic has occasioned the closure of schools.
Consequently, distance/on-line learning has become the order of the day. This method of instruction and learning has a limitation in the sense that some students cannot engage in the process due to lack of internet connectivity/access.
While commending the Ministry of Education for creating the online-learning platform, I write to make recommendations of measures to supplement what is in existence:
First, the electronic and print media need to come on board by offering educational programmes daily. Most families have televisions, therefore, TVJ and CVM could air programmes in which the teaching of English, Maths, Science, etcetera takes place. The Gleaner and The Observer, like the lecture series they present once weekly, could, during this period, present more lecture series once teachers contribute intellectual and academic activities.
Second, since education is not only about passing exams, parents and guardians should use this stay-at-home moment to teach soft skills such as responsibility, empathy, loyalty, helpfulness, kindness, selflessness, etcetera to their children and ward.
Third, literature and orature (the spoken word) have a role to play in this period. We need to rekindle the dying culture of reading, story-writing and story-telling. Such not only have educational value, but therapeutic effects on families where COVID-19 has caused angst. Besides, reading is so heuristic that it helps self-directed and distance learning.
In conclusion, it is my view that a combination of the afore-mentioned strategies and online teaching/learning can help our nation in this period of lock-down and stay at home.
Pastor Ugochukwu Durueke, JP
Teacher at Ferncourt High School,
Claremont, St. Ann.
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