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Aug 23, 2021

B.N.T.U. Prez Says Distance Ed Right Move; Recognizes Challenges for Teachers and Students

Elena Smith

The President of the National Teachers Union, Senator Elena Smith, says the Ministry of Education’s decision – that schools will reopen using online and distance learning only – comes as a relief to teachers. Smith says they have been monitoring the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and says that now is not the best time to return to face-to-face learning.  But, they do recognize that many students are at a disadvantage due to limited internet and device access. Some teachers are also facing challenges of their own. President Smith appeared on today’s Open Your Eyes Morning Show.


Senator Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“So, when the announcement was made, teachers were relieved, not that they could not return to the classroom, but they were relieved that a decision was made seeing where we are in terms of number. We are concerned, not just about our teachers, but about our students as well. And we have seen now where even if they have go their two shots they are still now able to contract and transmit, and that is a concern for many of our parents and teachers as well.  The online is another huge concern, has always been and will continue to be. We don’t believe that our students are prepared as they ought to be for online classes, in terms of devices and access. And, even our teachers, a lot of our teachers had to go out of their way and struggle to get their devices for the new school year. With the cut in salary and all that has happened, some of them are preparing for the classroom. Some of them have internship. So, a lot of little issues that were happening that teachers are concerned about. But, all in all we know that teachers will do their best to ensure that students are engaged in online classes.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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