Educators to be trained to help students overcome losses occasioned by COVID

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A teacher at a bilingual school explains Mayan numbers to students in their native Kaqchikel language, in the mountain village of Popabaj, Guatemala, February 8, 2007. A bilingual education drive in the mostly Mayan country is reviving 21 languages pushed aside since the Spanish conquest, some of which were close to extinction. Picture taken February 8, 2007. REUTERS/Daniel LeClair (GUATEMALA) - RTR1MDEP

The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is collaborating with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)Commission to facilitate the training of approximately 15,000 educators in skills to assist their students in overcoming the learning losses occasioned by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The capacity-building course is designed to support educators with the implementation of the CDB/CARICOM/OECS Learning Recovery and Enhancement Program (Let’s REAP), which is expected to begin the first week in October.

The program will improve the competencies of five cohorts of educators in three modules over two years. Upon successful completion, participants will receive a certificate from the University of the West Indies (UWI) Joint Boards of Teacher Education. The program targets educators from all CARICOM member states and associate members

The 45-hour course will focus on three core components of Let’s REAP: Leadership and Accountability, Assessment and Differentiated Instruction, and Communities of Practice (CoP).

In Leadership and Accountability, educational leaders are expected to garner knowledge on creating enabling and conducive conditions for learning as well as distributive leadership and accountability in a school setting.

Under the Assessment and Differentiated Instruction Module, educators are expected to learn how to develop and analyze diagnostic and other forms of formative assessments, use the assessments to effectively tailor lessons to the individual learning needs of each student, and develop competence in differentiating instruction to ensure each learner succeeds.

The CoP module is expected to train school leaders and teachers on how to coordinate teamwork and collaboration in school and virtual environments to improve teaching-learning.

The course is being delivered online and will seek to model how communities of practices are implemented by equipping participants with tools to form online learning communities to support each other as they hone their skills in leadership, accountability, and assessment for learning.

The CDB/ CARICOM/OECS Let’s REAP for Caribbean Schools Program was developed in response to the learning loss occasioned by disruptions to schooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Research has shown that education gaps have widened between high-performing and low-performing students, especially for those with low socioeconomic status and those who have special educational needs or a disability.

Let’s REAP, which was launched in July 2021 with input from the CARICOM Regional Network of Planning Officers, the Caribbean Union of Teachers, the Caribbean Association for Principals of Secondary Schools, and the Caribbean Examinations Council.

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