THE Ministry of Education (MOE) has launched a ‘Teachers Survey’ to better understand how teachers feel during the pandemic and what can be done to support them moving forward.
The survey comes as hundreds of teachers nationwide returned to primary and secondary schools from June 8, 2020 but the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) resisted the MOE’s Order by calling on teachers to stay away from schools.
The push and pull comes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the scheduled Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) exams. The learners are expected to write these exams in July 2020 as decided both by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and the MOE.
In its survey, apart from the basic information of the teacher’s gender, age, teaching level and region, the questionnaire gathers information on their distance learning experience.
It questions whether they have been personally facilitating distance learning with their students since the pandemic and whether they have done so through platforms such as Zoom, Google Classroom, WhatsApp and Facebook; both digital and non-digital platforms or only non-digital tools such as books and work sheets picked up by families.
The survey asks the teachers to average how much experience they personally had with e-learning prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
Information on the attendance, participation and engagement of students is also being collected. If a teacher takes attendance for distance learning classes, it seeks to determine whether this was done if students log on, completes assignments, communicates or any other criteria.
It also hopes to determine the average percentage of participation and a comparison of assignment completion rates of in-classroom and distance learning.
The survey also collects data on the difference in time now spent on academic instruction through distance learning, grading, professional development, collaborative planning with colleagues, reaching out to students, reaching out to parents/guardians and social-emotional support for students.
Teachers participating are also asked to state whether they chose to focus their distance learning programme on teaching new content as planned before the pandemic; reinforcing old content and/or addressing learning gaps or a combination of the two.
It asks them to average about how many of their students have access to a computer, tablet or smart phone to use for school work when they need it; a quiet place to study and/or attend virtual class; how many of them have age-appropriate skills to successfully navigate technology for distance learning; the challenges learners experience in accessing remote learning modalities and the challenges they have experienced in moving instruction from the classroom to online.
The MOE is hopeful that the COVID-19 curve will flatten in Guyana by September 2020 and then it will consider the changes needed to the academic year.
Chief Education Officer (CEO), Ingrid Trotman, had stated at the MOE’s recent public and media engagement, that the ministry would be conducting a diagnostic assessment to determine the existing learning gaps as result of the closure of schools and how it should go about addressing them.