Today 5th October, we join the rest of the world in celebrating the teachers across the world. Every 5th October since 1994, United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural Organization (UNESCO), commemorates the World Teacher’s Day (WTD) marking the signing of the Recommendations of the teacher’s status. These recommendations are the rights, responsibilities, teaching conditions, standards and professional development of teachers.
Every year, WTD celebrates the achievements of the teachers, and raises awareness of the challenges they encounter .This year, amid the pandemic, which has increased the challenges of teaching, the theme is ‘Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimaging the future’, and so we honor the teachers who have ensured that learning progresses in the constrained education system by coming up innovative ways of engaging the learners.
Above: GIS training with the Principal Geoinformation Trainer Mr. Leonard Sweta, at RCMRD before the COVID-19 Pandemic.
According to Henry Ndegwa a trainer in ICT “There has been a lot of issues arising from the overreliance on the face to face learning at all levels of academics before Covid-19 hit. Going forward, there is a need for teachers and institution of learning to start having hybrid learning where possible coupled with the use of ICT to support most if not all learning activities.”
The teachers have come up with short courses that can take three to two weeks so as to keep learners engaged. Additionally, they are playing a key task in advising on school reopening strategy to ensure the learning progress smoothly and implementing mechanisms that would ensure students are safe from COVID once physical teaching resumes.
Additionally, his colleague Anastacia added that, “The COVID pandemic has left matter education at a crossroad globally and teachers as a major stakeholder must be at the forefront to protect the right to quality education and explore new approaches as they work to create equitable access to educational technology.”
RCMRD is very vocal in training engagements and does invite participants across the 20 member countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa. Trainings are regularly held in courses like Service repair and calibration of surveying equipment, Applied remote sensing, Technical diploma and certificate, short term geospatial courses and Professional short courses.
During this pandemic, there has been vigorous training ongoing in various departments, like Geoinformation training that trained over 40 student GIS for professionals’ course. Others are Data office that kicked off its training on Open source tools, data applications. today, and Geomatic department also starting on 12th for a 10 days course in AutoCAD Civil 3D. According to the trainer Open Source Data and Tools, COVID has altered the normal direct interaction in a classroom and poses a challenge to the hands-on practical topics. However, the department has had to adjust so as not to compromise the quality of content delivered.