FLOW, JTA to train 1,500 teachers
One thousand five hundred teachers are set to be trained in the coming months under a strategic partnership between the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) and the FLOW Foundation.
Under the agreement, the teachers will benefit from free online certified training which will further empower them to meet the challenges of a digital future and equip them with the skills to compete in a digital economy.
“I am proud to announce that 1,500 teachers will be trained in our digital education programme under our partnership with the JTA,” said Stephen Price, chairman of the FLOW Foundation, at the signing of the memorandum of understanding at its corporate headquarters.
“This partnership advances our digital inclusion drive while ensuring that our teachers are better equipped to make a difference in the online teaching space as well as in their own lives. Through this training, our teachers will be provided with critical educational and professional support as they prepare to return to the post-COVID classroom,” he continued.
Speaking to the significant impact of the pandemic, especially on the country’s education system, Price stated: “This is one of the most challenging periods of our time. This pandemic has affected us in so many ways and one of the biggest challenges is that over 120,000 students are not participating in an educational programme. It is therefore important for us to create an environment to help foster the kind of interaction that is necessary at this time which is why our company has invested heavily in programmes that support our education system.”
In his remarks, Jasford Gabriel, president of the JTA, shared that the training is aligned with the focus of the JTA’s conference year which has digital transformation on its agenda. He stated: “This is a great day for the JTA and its members. I believe this training will support problem solving and critical thinking skills as well as help with any small business ventures they may wish to develop.”
He continued: “Our teachers are proud individuals. They want to be masters of the digital space. They have had a crash course in transitioning to the rigours of online teaching and learning. After participating in this training program, they will be far more equipped and competent to advance education in a meaningful way. This will allow them to quickly bridge the learning loss currently being experienced as a nation.”
The partnership falls under the foundation’s Digital Education Programme, which focuses on driving digital inclusion by equipping Jamaicans with the necessary skills for the future. The teachers selected by the JTA will be registered under the Training for Professionals Initiative (a sub-programme), which is being administered through One-on-One Educational Services and will provide access to a wide variety of courses by some of the top publishers in the world. Programme participants will have access to the training content for a twelve-month period.
For Ricardo Allen, president and CEO, One-on-One Educational Services, the partnership is a milestone in professional development that’s worth celebrating. “We are happy to be a part of this programme to engage 1,500 teachers in upskilling themselves. Knowledge attained can never be taken away. Digital media is often used as a marketing tool, but for teachers, it is about making the best use of digital assets to engage their current and future students. It is about being equipped with the tools and skills for the new post-COVID classroom that will bring it to the next level. I can’t wait to get started!”
He also shared that each teacher will be given personalised learning paths after being assessed.