Two teachers in St .Vincent and the Grenadines have gone above the call of duty to ensure that they remain connected with their students. Mrs. Ingrid Lavia, who teaches Grade One at Owia Primary School, is one of the many teachers that had to adapt to new and innovative ways of engaging her students. She has given up using online platforms to teach her 16 students who are home-based. She says:
“Many are having challenges navigating those platforms at such a young age and others do not have the resources at home to access these platforms.”
Instead, with support from the ELP, Ms. Lavia prepares the work by photocopying all lessons and prepares packages for her 16 students and delivers it to their homes three times a week. She says:
“Luckily all of my students live in the same area and therefore it is not too onerous to deliver and pick-up packets every Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. My students are all six to seven years old, and they are managing well, doing their work and eager to continue learning.”
Ms. Keeta Bowens, also from the Owia Primary School, has also had to make some adjustments during this period of distance learning. Out of her class of twenty-two (22), Grade 3 students, Ms. Bowens identified four students that did not have the resources at home to facilitate virtual learning and has been accommodating these students in her home for over one hour every day. With adherence to safe COVID -19 protocols, the students access the internet and use her devices (mobile phone, computer, or tablet) to complete their lessons. Ms. Bowens is also able to provide the students with extra assistance, as they are very eager to learn. The remaining 19 students are taught via online platforms.
Both teachers believe that this shift has created some very positive outcomes with parents/caretakers more involved in their children’s education and the children eager for increased activity and learning.
About OECS/USAID ELP:
OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme is a Programme within the Education Development Management Unit of the OECS Commission and was established in March 2015 to improve the reading skills of children in the early primary grades with the goal of providing a foundation for improved learning outcomes and enhanced opportunities for students in the six (6) independent Member States of the OECS (Antigua and Barbuda, The Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines).
To date the ELP has achieved a number of tangible outputs with over 17,000 learners reached at the Primary level, over 1500 Grades K to 3 teachers supported through job embedded professional development, 1426 lessons observed and 1031 coaching sessions with teachers have been completed by ELP Coordinators. Further, 60 schools across the Member States have received development grants to support reading enhancement projects and 173,114 teaching and learning materials have been provided to 750 classrooms across the OECS. The OECS/USAID ELP will run through to September 2020 continuing to develop and implement impactful initiatives that advance early grade reading throughout the OECS.