Teacher professional development. Experiences and lessons learned from Dominica

Oct 6, 2022 | kix, News

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The fourteenth edition of the KIX Conversations featured the participation of KIX LAC representative and president of the Dominica Teachers Association, Mervin Alexander, who was interviewed by Fernanda del Pozo, KIX LAC researcher, who spoke about the impacts of COVID-19, the lessons learned and the importance of teacher training today.

Globally, COVID-19 has transformed education and the Caribbean region has been no exception. Specifically on the island of Dominica, more than 12,337 students and more than 1,178 teachers were affected by the disruption of classes caused by the pandemic*. In this context, Alexander considers that the biggest challenge they had to face during this period was the lack of training and skills of teachers to teach classes online: “Although some schools were able to cope better than others, most had no idea how to conduct classes virtually, and the second most important factor we had to face was the lack of interconnectivity, because in Dominica, having access to the Internet depends on where you are located in the country”. 

In this sense, and as a complement to the lack of interconnectivity, there is also a shortage of equipment: “Although the government gave electronic devices to students, it did not consider giving them to teachers, who had to work with their own cell phones or laptops to give virtual classes, which in many cases were not sufficiently adequate for the function”. 

As a third major challenge, Alexander considers that it was the mental health of the teachers: “We felt we had to do something about that and we held some sessions where the teachers could express themselves and talk about what they were experiencing. Subsequently, they themselves assured that these meetings were very much appreciated and made them feel much better”.

Finally, the president of the Association of Pre-teachers highlighted the resilience of the country and its citizens, who despite so many environmental difficulties and the consequences of COVID-19, have managed to implement training for teachers in various disciplines, especially in online education. 

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzHxp7TewJc

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