‘Time for a change’ – Education Ministry to revise teaching methods

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As a result of the huge learning loss that children suffered during the two-year physical closure of schools, the Ministry of Education will be revising its teaching methods.

This is according to Minister of Education Priya Manickchand, who on Monday emphasised that it is time “for a change” of the teaching methods as educators are now seeing the effects of schools’ closure as a result of the pandemic.

Even though the ministry has already implemented a consolidated curriculum for teaching, Minister Manickchand explained that a complete revision of teaching methods is needed to help students recover from learning loss.

The Education Minister made these comments after questions were asked about bridging the gap between Grade Six pupils who are now back in the classroom after missing months of teaching and students who have been continuously taught.

“It has to be a complete revision of what we have become accustomed to – the completion of syllabus and curriculum and so on has to be based on how children are responding to that and that is what we are trying to get over to teachers,” Minister Manickchand said.

She revealed that over 900 of the 1,300 children who were found to be absent from school are now back in classrooms following the government’s successful ‘Operation Recovery’.

Minister Manickchand said a range of issues were also unearthed for the pupils’ absenteeism.

“We saw reasons ranging from poverty to carelessness. We saw children not coming out because they were babysitting other younger siblings, these are 10 and 11-year-olds doing the babysitting,” Manickchand revealed.

She said children were out of school for so long that they were on the verge of being dropouts.

And while the ministry has been providing support for these children, Manickchand also urged teachers, schools, and education departments to be more “conscious” when children are absent for long periods.

“That is a whole renewed thing by the ministry that we shouldn’t wait until we have end of year statistics that will show that we have these dropouts, we know what is likely to happen and we have to defy that.”

Operation Recovery will be a prolonged exercise, and while it started with Grade Six pupils, once schools fully reopen on April 25, all grades will be assessed to find absent children.

“Operation Recovery was never intended to be a one day or week activity.

“Once everybody comes back out and is duty-bound to come back out, mandated to come back out we can look to see who was absent,” Minister Manickchand said.

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