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Editorial | Capacitate the teachers first

The discussions on the approaches that must be taken especially by public schools in the “new normal” have always singled out connectivity as the main topic.

These talks have also been trying to pin the blame on poor Internet connections on telecommunications companies, they being the ones that have made huge profits as a result of the so-called duopoly, although there are reports that the third company is busy laying down the groundworks for its operations.

There have also been discussions on how to help the students, particularly those coming from poor families, they who cannot even afford three meals a day, let alone buy expensive gadgets needed to go online.

Always forgotten in the discussions is the capacity of teachers to utilize these new teaching schemes, although teachers can also easily adapt to these new methods, but the time element here is so crucial.

In this regard, there is a need for the regulatory bodies, or governing agencies, to look at how they can help the teachers, particularly those in rural areas, if these new teaching mechanisms are implemented. They must be provided not only with the equipment, but also with the intangible tools like in-depth knowledge in adopting new teaching methods.

They may have the basic knowledge of how to use the tools, but translating these into effective teaching facilities will be a different story.

And because this will need a longer gestation period, it would also be better for these government agencies to identify which of the schools should undergo the piloting of the new approaches, and allow those that are not prepared to retain their teaching methods, provided that minimum health protocols are followed.

The impact in the implementation of these new approaches will not be immediate, so the transition should be gradual as lessons are expected to be learned along the way.

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