The prolonged school closure due to COVID 19 forced thousands of teachers like Laxman Neupane and Anita Darlami from Kawasoti municipality, to teach their students via online classes.
With very little IT skills, they struggled to manage resources and keep students motivated in their studies. What seemed like the best alternative to teach in the absence of proximity; online lessons soon seemed like an difficult chore to engage every day with inadequate knowledge.
The virtual training provided by the British Council in partnership with the Kawasoti Municipality designed to help and equip many teachers in Nepal on 'online teaching' became a blessing for teachers struggling with the new teaching normal.
“Initially, I was sceptical about attending such training as I wasn’t sure if online professional development sessions would work. But I was wrong as I found the training not only interesting, interactive but very effective too“says Laxman.
Teaching online is no longer a difficult task for Laxman and Anita. They are both confident and excited to try out the new features and ideas they had learned during the training. Teaching online has become much easier and more fun for them as Laxman puts it, “Zoom is now a friendly platform for me. I use the raise hand buttons, chat messages and screen sharing options to make my class interactive. I also use Google forms to encourage collaborative learning. I have become better at what I do.”
The training provided to the teachers of Kawasoti municipality was focused on preparing the teachers to best use the technologies available in teaching virtually and was delivered by well-prepared trainers. The training focused on various aspects of online teaching including lesson management, effective monitoring and online and offline assessments.
Similar to Laxman, Anita started teaching online with little expertise and knowledge on teaching virtually. Anita was uncomfortable interacting with her students on a computer screen, unlike the usual physical classes. But time has changed, and now Anita feels comfortable interacting with her students online.
"I am now able to monitor my students and keep them active throughout the lesson. If the teacher is active, students automatically follow you. I know these skills will help me even when physical classes resume to ensure effective learning continues in my class,” shares Anita.
Teaching students online is not something to retract from but something to look forward to. Teachers who were part of the training now do not find it scary anymore with useful skills on teaching and learning aspects of online training.