Shadow Minister of Education and Training, Dr Angela Brown Burke is in agreement with the Ministry of Education’s position to delay the planned face-to-face component of the approach to schooling at least for this term.
In a statement from her office a short while ago, Brown Burke said she agreed “wholeheartedly with the concerns raised by teachers and principals that the risk remains too high for face-to-face learning because the coronavirus pandemic spread appears out of control”.
Dr Brown Burke says the risk to teachers, parents, and students under these circumstances is one that should not be ignored, particularly when taken in the context of a population with a high percentage of people with underlying health conditions.
“Rebuilding a better and stronger education system in 2020 requires urgent attention to diversifying technology for delivery of content that is universally available as well as addressing the glaring inequities in the education system,” she reasoned.
She is recommending a partnership with all stakeholders, including parents, teachers, alumni associations, and other NGOs in the sector in charting a path that could see more significant improvement in performance while reducing inequity and addressing other issues that negatively affect teaching-learning outcomes.
“It is not too late to correct some of the inequities and I’m urging the Ministry of Education to pay special attention to vulnerable families and to help them take advantage of the changes as we embrace the new normal in the educational sector.”
She said many of these families would need assistance in accessing the new technologies as well as improving their nutrition intake as part of laying the foundation for a successful teaching-learning process.