Teachers in Dominica are being sensitized on strategies for effective learning through a Professional Development Training organized by the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence.
Prompted by a decision of the Education Minister to focus on teaching and learning for the short to medium term, the training session started today and will continue until Friday February 19, 2021.
“We have decided to invest time in sensitizing our teachers on strategies for effective learning,” Acting Chief Education Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Blaize, said. “So essentially during the next couple days we will be having a series of workshops with our teachers focusing on areas of deficiency that we have recognized in our national assessment.”
Dr. Blaize continued, “For instance, in the grade 2 and 4 national assessment we have recognized that there are challenges with students in the areas of writing, in the area of comprehension skills, and so we decided to embark on training for teachers in terms of effective delivery in those areas.”
He said the Ministry of Education is also using a training approach which blends technology with the classroom setting, “because we recognize that the use of technology with the classroom is important.”
According to Dr. Blaize, teachers will also be sensitized to the teaching of English as a second language in consideration of the Haitian, Spanish speaking and Chinese population of students in Dominican classrooms.
“In many instances these students are very bright, but they have challenges in learning in terms of the barrier for the English language.”
He said principals are also being encouraged to participate in those training sessions, “because we recognize that the only way we can ensure implementation of strategies is for management at the school level to be on board with us in terms of, firstly being aware of the strategies and then monitoring to ensure that there is supervision that the teachers are employing the strategies in their daily classroom exercises.”
In the final session of this training exercise which will be specifically for principals, the Ministry of Education will explore ways in which those school managers will use the strategies that they have been exposed to.
Blaize believes that teacher training will pay off dividends in terms of student outcomes, but he contends that this can only happen, “if we improve our monitoring capabilities, if we improve our clinical supervision capabilities, if we increase the networking among teachers and sharing of best practices, so that when teachers are exposed to training they are able to return to their schools and assist their colleagues in terms of implementing the strategies learnt and sharing of the best practices.”
The Acting Chief Education Officer asserts that the most important aspect of education is the students’ ability to meet the desired outcomes per the curriculum.
“And we feel that if that is not being done to a great extent, then the system itself is not doing what it is expected to do; so whatever we do, we need to focus on learning, ensuring that students are safe, they are comfortable and they are getting the desired learning outcome that is expected as per the curriculum,” Dr. Blaize declared.
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Some not wearing mask, some wearing it on their chin, some have it under their nose. Teachers eh. ok
Ministry of Education when will we start assessing the leadership of the schools in the south. Are you all afraid of the blue fb gangsters. Why are we allowing the children to fail so miserable in the school in the middle of the south? Its time for the MOE to do their job.
When will the principals be trained on effective leadership especially the ones in the southern district. The ones who favor the brown. Nosers..
I agree with you, Mr. Burnette. My friend and I were just talking about the handymen, some of whom get more pay than some who have graduated from universities.. What about Home Economics, Woodwork, Art, Electronics, Bodywork, Poetry etc.,? Everyone does not learn the same way and the way we teach does not apply to every child. We have to meet the children where they are. There are those who like the books and those whose interests are different.
Too much focus is placed on National Assessments. Some of that focus should be on the psychological development of the students. There is so much going on in the classrooms. Some students are afraid of talking to their parent/ guardians about issues that affect them at school because “the teacher will be good for them in the classroom!”. A lot of our teachers do not relate to their students in a proper manner. It is sad but true that there are persons in the classrooms with our children who should be doing something else as a career. In my opinion, more screening of teachers and principals are required from the Ministry of Education. This is an area the Ministry can explore because believe me some of our students do not enjoy school because of some “teachers”; and if they do not enjoy school, there is no way they are going to excel in the classroom. Another area of concern is the favoritism that teachers openly display in the classrooms; this too affects performance
But not a word about the importance of creative arts, an area that should be the bedrock of learning at all levels. This is all the more important because the “new normal” will require creative skills above all others.
Furthermore, studies have shown that up to 15% of Afro-Caribbean children are dyslexic and a dyslexic child is a creative child.
I applaud the effort being undertaken here, while I also recognize your very valid concern about the arts. Perhaps your mention can start a conversation in that regard, or hopefully there is already something being planned to address the arts in education.
I have been trying to get the message across for years but sadly it falls on deaf ears.
This is indeed very sad. Do the powers that be know and recognize that art goes into everything. Art is a valued part of even the design and manufacturing of the most advanced piece of engineering, electronic, medical, etc equipment.
Then there is music, acting, singing, etc. These values have to be harnessed from very young, and encouraged in our children. We have already lost so much of our culture partly due to the way our education system is ran.