LEARNING ON THE SCREEN: A TEACHER’S EFFORT TO KEEP CHILDREN LEARNING AMIDST COVID-19
A young innovative basic school teacher at Tiyumba Primary school Tamale in the Northern Region, Ms. Hansawu Bukari has initiated practical online learning session’s for pupils of early childhood and lower primary education levels.This initiative she describes as a learning support solution to augment government’s efforts in bringing virtual learning at the doorsteps of school children in this Covid-19 pandemic era.
The young teacher who has a strong passion for child education single-handedly organizes online lessons dubbed “Learning on the Screen” to support children of 6 years and below to continue learning after the Covid-19 pandemic forced government to shut down all schools in Ghana.Even though the president has announced dates for the reopening of schools, lower level pupils and continuing students from early childhood to tertiary levels are all to remain at home until further notice.
When ASL News’ Gideon Adarkwah quizzed the young teacher about her motive behind this drive, she passionately expressed the strong need to use practical teaching methods with physical learning tools to demonstrate what can be taught in this era that can more than compensate for the absence of student-teacher physical interaction due to the scourge of the coronavirus.
Ms. Bukari said abstract teaching in most cases does not produce the kind of results she wants, hence the need for applying diverse gestures and using teaching and learning materials (TLMs) for demonstration. The young teacher again bemoaned the unavailability of TLMs to teachers in some schools to help enhance the understanding of the pupils of what is taught. She further asserted that in some cases the head of schools make available the TLMs upon request but in other cases, the teachers themselves find their way out to acquire some to support their lessons.
ASL News gathered that Ms. Bukari,with her personal limited resources, acquires these TLMs to aid her teach her pupils. This she said has now become very useful in her online learning project “Learning on the Screen” which she started during the Lock down till date.
She admitted that “making teaching practical enhances understanding and makes you achieve what you want to.”She mentioned that prior to the“Learning on the Screen” project on Facebook, she created a whatsApp group for parents and guardians of her pupils to share video lessons to enable them see what the children learn in class and also allow the children to play back and watch at home what they learnt in school.
“When this Covid-19 issue started, everybody got bored and I wondered how these children were learning especially when no one knew when they were going back to school. So, I decided that why don’t I do something to engage them, get them to be busy learning instead of engaging in vices. You don’t wait to have everything before you start something, so I took my phone and started something,”Ms. Bukari said.
She was quite ecstatic about some parents’ reaction to the initiative and that encouraged her to continue recording live lessons on Facebook for consumption of pupils across the globe. The young innovative teacher however said she was touched by some parents who could not have the means to engage or afford private tutors to home school their children so she decided to do this for free and share on social media so every parent or guardian can access the practical lessons and share with their wards.
Although Ms. Bukari gets no support from anyone, she feels fulfilled knowing that she is imparting knowledge to the children. She emphasized that the project she has started will continue with or without any support, as long as the lessons get to the target audience. As she put it, “More often than not, I try to do things without expecting anything, if you want to be happy just give without expecting, that way, you will keep growing. Even with what I have posted, not many have as much as commented with a word of encouragement but a lot have watched the videos and I find solace in that.”
Source: Gideon Adarkwah, ASL NEWS