By Muhammed Kandeh
The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) on Saturday concluded 10 days training for teachers on how to conduct lessons digitally.
The almost 100 teachers drawn from across the country, were trained at the Regional Education Directorate Office in Kanifing (Region 1) and Brikama (Region 2), respectively.
Alpha Bah, Principal Education Officer, System Analyst at MoBSE, said the motive of the training is to orient teachers on the usage of television and radio broadcasting.
He stated that they aimed to build the capacity of teachers to make the educational system more resilient.
Bah continued to say that the training is meant to prepare teachers for digital teaching as the Ministry is preparing to digitalize the education system in The Gambia.
The Principal Education Officer said the participants [teachers] would also champion the course of education broadcasting for enhancing teaching and learning in the country.
“If we are going to use Radio and TV which the Ministry is working on having in all the regions, we will like these teachers to be the champions to be used as focal persons,” he said.
Bah further went on to say that the teachers are not only expected to use the skills only on Radio and TV, but also on WhatsApp where possible, because a good number of the pupils have access to a Smartphone.
“Teachers can record their lessons and share them with their students. This will help in reducing lost hours in school,” he concluded.
Emily Gomez, the head of the communication unit at MoBSE said her expectation is that the trained teachers would return to their respective regions and practice what they have learned.
She added that the teachers were carefully selected for the training, while hoping that they would not disappoint the Ministry.
“Hopefully, we have inspired them to be able to do a lot of things which they were unable to do on their own. Therefore, we hope that when they get back, they will put that into good practice,” she added.
Gomez said that MoBSE is trying to promote digital learning as it has already distributed smart screens to all Upper Basic Schools and Senior Secondary Schools in the country to enhance digital teaching and learning.
The head of the communication unit also said that plans are in place to have the ministry’s radio stations in all the regions of the country.
Bakary Ceesay, Director of Science and Technology Unit expressed his satisfaction with the participants; saying ‘the zeal in them will go a long way in supporting the initiative [digitalizing the education system of the country]’.
He said the Ministry has empowered teachers and they do not expect them to get back to their regions and fold their hands.
“There are basic things they can start with and then we will be able to support them to build on what we have already done,” Ceesay added.
The Director of Science and Technology Unit encouraged principals and head teachers to embrace this initiative as well as be supportive to the teachers trained on digital teaching, to enable teaching and learning to continue in all locations and at any time.
Al-Amin Muhammad Saidykhan, the Acting Center Manager at the MoBSE Science Lab cum facilitator, pointed out that there is no doubt in the caliber of teachers who attended the training.
He added that the teachers are expected to navigate through the basic ICT skills and be able to prepare their own lessons and present them to their students, using technology.
Saidykhan encouraged the teachers to conduct a step down training for their fellow teachers who were unfortunate to attend the training.
The Acting Centre Manager at the MoBSE Science Lab urged the participants to keep practising the skills learnt saying, ‘practice makes perfect’.
Modou Touray, a participant from Farafenni Upper Basic School commended the Ministry for coming up with such an initiative, which he said came at the right time.
He said he was not exposed to most of the skills taught at the training, prior to the session.
“During the training, I was exposed to so many basic ICT skills that I have never known despite using some of them,” Mr. Touray said.