Regional teacher training programme to offset Covid-19 learning losses

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, and OECS Commission have partnered to facilitate the training of approximately 15,000 educators in skills to assist their students to overcome the learning losses occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The capacity-building course is designed to support educators with the implementation of the CDB/CARICOM/OECS Learning Recovery and Enhancement Programme (Let’s REAP). The training programme, which is expected to begin the first week in October 2022, will improve the competencies of five cohorts of educators in three modules over two years. Upon successful completion, participants will receive a certificate from the University of the West Indies (UWI) Joint Boards of Teacher Education. The programme targets educators from all CARICOM Member States and Associate Members.

The 45-hour course will focus on three core components of Let’s REAP: Leadership and Accountability, Assessment and Differentiated Instruction, and Communities of Practice (CoP). In Leadership and Accountability, educational leaders are expected to garner knowledge on creating enabling and conducive conditions for learning as well as distributive leadership and accountability in a school setting.

Under the Assessment and Differentiated Instruction Module, educators are expected to learn how to develop and analyse diagnostic and other forms of formative assessments, use the assessments to effectively tailor lessons to the individual learning needs of each student, and develop competence in differentiating instruction to ensure each learner succeeds in the class.

The CoP module is expected to train school leaders and teachers on how to coordinate teamwork and collaboration, in school and virtual environments, to improve teaching-learning. The course is being delivered online and will seek to model how communities of practices are implemented by equipping participants with tools to form online learning communities to support each other as they hone their skills in leadership, accountability, and assessment for learning.

The CDB/CARICOM/OECS Let’s REAP for Caribbean Schools Programme was developed in response to the learning loss occasioned by disruptions to schooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Research has shown that education gaps have widened between high-performing and low-performing students, especially for those with low socioeconomic status, and those who have special educational needs or a disability (SPED).

Let’s REAP, which was launched in July 2021, had input from the CARICOM Regional Network of Planning Officers (RNPO), the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT), the Caribbean Association for Principals of Secondary Schools  (CAPSS),  and the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).

Let’s REAP recommends actions principals can take as leaders of educational institutions to guide the processes of learning recovery and acceleration. These actions are set up around nine priority areas including establishing Communities of Practice among school principals and within schools to share best practices and ideas; conducting formative assessments and teaching to meet the learning needs of each student; developing an inclusive learning environment with psycho-social programmes for teachers and schools; coordinating initiatives to encourage disengaged parents to support student learning and engaging local organisations to work with vulnerable learners.

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