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COVID-19: Anambra government organises e-teaching training for teachers

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Teachers in the public primary and secondary schools in Anambra are to participate in an e-teaching training being organised by the state government to sharpen their skills.

The state government has scheduled an e-conference to hold early in August, which is free and compulsory for all 12,000 teachers in the state.

However, the e-teaching training, to be in five modules, is optional and would cost N8, 000 per participant, including N2, 000 for certificate.

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Prof. Kate Omenugha, the state Commissioner for Basic Education told journalists on Sunday in Awka that the initiative was aimed at making the state maintain its strong position in education.

Recall that two Anambra indigenes came first and second in the 2020 Universities Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results recently released by Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

Omenugha said that COVID-19 had ushered in a ‘new normal’ in the education sector, adding that teaching and learning must adjust to the new order of e-learning to move ahead.

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She said that e-learning which would be preceded by an e-conference for teachers and stakeholders in the education sector, would lay the bed for post COVID-19 education in Anambra.

According to her, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed everyone under “lock and key”, and many economic activities appear grounded.

She said that education was not left out, as all schools were closed and children equally locked down.

“The fact remains that if every of our activities can wait, education cannot wait, because allowing education to wait will mean putting all our destinies to a halt and endangering our growth.

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“Therefore, the onus is on us all to think outside the box, make sacrifices, stretch our imaginations and update ourselves in the various methods of teaching our children to remain relevant during the pandemic.

“We now have a “new normal”- aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic – and this “new normal” makes imperative the role of technology in education, even though technology may not replace teachers, teachers who use technology may replace those who do not,” she said.

The training will equip the participants with the requisite skills to adapt to the emerging challenges in electronic teaching and learning in the COVID-19 era.

Omenugha said that only 128 teachers of the 12,000 teachers in the state participated in the ‘Teaching-on-Air’ programme of the ministry, either due to lack of enthusiasm or lack of skill by most teachers.

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She, however, noted that the radio teaching programme which started about 10 days after the shutdown of schools in March 2020 had kept students in the state academically fresh.

The commissioner said it had also attracted national and international commendation.

According to her, `Gov. Willie Obiano has approved the purchase and distribution of 3,000 units of transistor radios to education clusters in nine local governments in the state as rural alternative to internet-based teaching in the urban areas.

Omenugha commended Anambra teachers who took part in the T4 e-conference of the New-Normal-Post COVID Education.

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She said they had learnt a lot and had better appreciation of the role of technology in education.

Mrs Ifeoma Okey-Aroh, Chairman of Post Primary School Service Commission (PPSSC), said teachers stood to gain a lot from the training.

She said it would not only broaden their knowledge, but also make them relevant in the future.

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