Hundreds of students did not participate in the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) virtual learning platform last semester despite more than 48,000 students registering for online learning said Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary, MOE, in her remarks at the recent opening ceremony of the 1st Virtual Teachers Conference. “Many live in homes with no electricity and others have no internet access or electronic device. These are some of the learning gaps that we must find a way to fill and ensure that there is equity in education so that no child is left behind,” she said.
Moreover, the pandemic has highlighted the important role that teachers play in the lives of children. PS Armbrister informed that during the lockdowns, teachers reached out to their students individually and through the Ministry’s virtual platform on social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Zoom. “We are indebted to teachers for their leadership in showing all of us what real dedication looks like. COVID is still with us and your continued engagement is needed more now than ever.
“Your sessions will point the way forward on how we stakeholders hold firm to our educational mission despite the interruption caused by COVID-19. Included is the MOEs strategic plans for the reopening of schools. We know that we have chosen perhaps the most difficult model, the virtual learning for when schools open. However, we believe it is the most suitable and the safest way to continue the education process in this environment.
“Your role is key as we learn best practices of the 3 models of learning and instruction using technology while remaining safe and healthy,’ added Mrs. Armbrister.
The theme for this year’s event was ‘Embracing the New Reality with Resilience and Resourcefulness’. The annual event is organized by the Ministry of Education and is an opportunity for new and returning teachers to explore the future of education. The 2020 conference was designed to support them in maintaining high educational standards.