Switch to virtual classrooms as term begins

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The start of the Trinity term today for thousands of public nursery, primary, and secondary school students and their teachers, signals a shift in the delivery of education to virtual classrooms as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

And Acting Chief Education Officer Joy Adamson is asking both teachers and parents to be patient and supportive as they move to an online environment.

In a May 3 circular addressed to all teachers of public nursery, and primary schools and obtained by Nation News, the acting chief outlined a list of expectations from them and parents.

“During this Third term you are not expected to teach any new concepts to your students. You are encouraged to consolidate topics which were introduced previously. Information will also be broadcast via radio station 91.3 FM and CBC TV (times to be announced later) especially for those students who do not yet have devices,” wrote Adamson.

She reminded teachers that “these are stressful times and empathy should be shown to all students experiencing challenges”, and they should “continue to be supportive, be kind and alert when engaging with your students”.

Among other things, Adamson said that student “attendance will be taken for each class” and parents should not “enter classrooms during teaching time unless invited by the teacher”. If they are “accessing a device from the school, you will have to sign a Contract and the device must be returned upon request or at the end of the School Year.”

Education officers and counsellors are also available for teachers and students, respectively.

Sources told The Nation however, that some teachers and principals are not pleased with the late notice of the list of expectations which came the day before they were scheduled to start teaching in the new online environment.  It is understood that efforts were made to get some communication and guidelines from the Ministry on how they were to proceed before the May 4 start date announced publicly by Minister of Education. (GBM)

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