By FAWE Ethiopia team
Mr. Bekele Shikur is a Mathematics teacher at one of the partner schools called Bashewam School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He became a teacher not by choice but along the way, he learned that teaching is a way to shape generations morally and equipping children with knowledge through education.
The COVID 19 Season has seen him get a chance to teach students through an online platform created by the school as well as to provide a tutorial class for FAWE-Ethiopia, Mastercard Foundation scholars in three regions including Addis Ababa.
He explained that, COVID-19 has affected the teaching-learning process in so many ways. To mention some;
- As the students stay home, they are exposed to stress, anxiety and psychological problems. To improve their performance, they should work hard and dedicate more time to their studies in comparison with physical teaching.
- It created a challenge in evaluating students’ overall performance. Previously, evaluation was based only on sit in examinations
In the process of changing the teaching and learning process to online platforms, different activities were accomplished through a partnership created with partner schools such as orienting selected teachers on technology; specifically on how to use Google class room application.
The second activity was setting up the Google class room for selected subjects and assessment done to find out how many of the scholars have access to smart phones. The scholars were then told to open email addresses. The third and final activity was inviting scholars to join the google class room using the class code.
As the application had not been used before, it was difficult for some scholars to acquaint themselves with the online education program. Later on, they learnt how to use the app and got a lot out of it. Internet connectivity is still a challenge which makes it difficult for teachers to gauge the attentiveness of the learners.
“All I can say is, I have got a chance to teach on the new technology platforms and be able to teach large number of students who live in different cities at the same time; which might be difficult to do on a face to face teaching program” Mr. Bekele added.
Mr. Bekele’s biggest concerns on online education include;
- Evaluation mechanisms and grading was previously done based on examination thus we need to take up other types of evaluations such as group work and presentations
- The teaching learning process depends on the notes provided by the teacher
- Luck of face to face interaction with in the students and between teacher and students
“In addition to these, the experience the students get from using the online platform will help them easily access other teaching and learning platforms in future” said the teacher.