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Teachers need to report any issues with e-learning environment – Robinson

Teachers need to report any issues with e-learning environment – Robinson
Oswald Robinson, President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU)


Oswald Robinson, president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU) says he does not condone or endorse teachers who may be using the e-learning process as an excuse to not meaningfully engage students.

And he is encouraging educators who are experiencing challenges with the new e-learning environment to report these issues to the relevant authorities so that they can be resolved.

E-learning for students in St Vincent and the Grenadines began several weeks ago, as schools remain physically closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it has been reported that some teachers, students and parents have been experiencing issues in one form or another with the new method of teaching and learning.

“It’s a partnership. They must come forward and say what are the challenges, what are the problems and if they fail to do so, then people will describe them as negligent and lazy and that sort of thing and that’s the last thing you would want to be labelled as…so it’s a concern,” Robinson said in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT this week.

The president, who was officially sworn in on April 30, said he has a responsible role to play at the helm of the Teachers Union and therefore cannot condone what could be perceived as negligence on the part of teachers.

Robinson added that he understands the plight of some teachers, who are experiencing problems accessing devices and with downloading certain applications and programmes.

He also noted that some teachers have not received training for one reason or another to administer e-learning, while others are now going through training.

He agreed that these were real concerns, but stressed that teachers need to come forward to receive the necessary support from the Union and Ministry of Education in helping to rectify those problems.

“The teachers are not on vacation, they must do the work,” the president said.

“At the end of the day, the students are the persons who would either succeed or fail and we don’t want our students to be failures. We want them to progress because the nation is depending on them to be the future leaders.”

“It’s not just the Ministry of Education alone. It’s not just the government alone. All of us, we must be involved, parents, teachers. The parents have to support the teachers and help to find the students and get them to be disciplined because this is a new thing for everybody and everything that is new will come with challenges but we have to rise above the challenges and move on to higher levels so that at the end of the day, our children will not suffer educationally because if they do, the future of our generation would be something that we would not be pleased with,” he said.

The SVGTU president added that the Union is interested in social dialogue and is “open to all stakeholders to have conversation in terms of the way forward”.