Teachers welcome return to face-to-face learning as new school term begins

As the new school term commences, teachers are happy with the resumption of face-to-face learning in the classrooms.

On Monday, DPI, visited St. Rose’s High, St. Stanislaus College, the New Campbellville, Caramel, Dolphin and North Ruimveldt Secondary schools, where teachers shared their views on the new school term.

Headmistress of the New Campbellville Secondary School, Shondell Ferreira said online learning affected students, leaving much to be recapped in the new academic term.

Teacher, student interaction at St. Stanislaus College.

“For once we will be having our students with us and we are aware that for quite some time the students were working online especially the students of grade 7 to 9 and that of itself would’ve had a negative impact. We will have to reteach what was done previously; it therefore means that we will have to have one-on-ones with these students in the classrooms although we know it may be a little time consuming. It is worth the while because it will not be prudent of us to continue our curriculum where we would’ve left off knowing to ourselves that many of those students did not cover most of the content.”

Teacher at St. Stanislaus College, Arlene Duff, said “Personally, I prefer face-to- face learning because when you have online learning there are lots of problems the students experience for example internet problems in some cases, they experience problems with electricity so now we have them here, we are hoping that things will be better, we can see them, we can ensure that they do exactly what they are supposed to do.”

Students of North Ruimveldt Secondary school during assembly.

Lashuan Williams, teacher at North Ruimveldt Secondary, said the education ministry has provided assistance to tackle the extreme learning loss suffered by students.

“First of all, the Ministry of Education would’ve issued a timetable where by they have the upper school out for the first three days and then you have the lower school out for Thursday, and next week you have the Grade One. So, they have a timetable to follow and we the educators in the school are trying to, the first week we are going to recap. We are not going to do anything new; we are going to recap all the things we did last term and we will be issuing the new topics for the new term.”

Deputy Headmistress of Dolphin Secondary School, Annabel Charles shared similar sentiments.

Teacher, student engagement at Dolphin Secondary School.

“Face-to-face learning is the best learning because there is where you will be able to see and have the feelings of students if they know, if they do not know everything. With the online learning yes, they’re there, but we don’t know what they are doing, but when we see them, we will be able to interact with them more and they learn better. What we have planned is to have our students giving them extra classes. However, we are focusing mainly on grade 10 and grade 11, whereby our teachers will have an extra hour in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and half an hour at mid-days. So, we can best catch up so to speak.” 

Additionally, teacher at Caramel Secondary, Eve Daniels, said the new term will be filled with innovative methods of learning to keep students engaged.

Teacher, student engagement at Caramel Secondary School.

“It’s really a pleasure to be back full time and to have all the children out to have face -to -face interactions because our students are students who were not functioning effectively on the online classes, and therefore having them back in the classroom works well for us. For this new term many strategies that we plan to use, many effective strategies that will be student centred, we plan to incorporate a lot of technology and a lot of games and a lot of work that will reengage them into the classroom and make it fun and make it applicable to them since they have been out for such a long time.”

Headmistress of Caramel Secondary School, Yvonne Adams said remedial work is being implemented to bridge the learning loss.

“I am trusting that our attendance and punctuality can improve over the coming days… because children from this catchment area, we really had a difficult time engaging them online and so now that they are back here fully, we think that we will be able to better serve them. We have a number of programmes planned in terms of remedial work and extra lessons in the afternoons.”

The Ministry of Education will continue to assist in the academic development of students countrywide with the implementation of modern and effective learning methods.