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Helping teachers in remote settings improve their skills via virtual classrooms

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people around the world to adjust to the new way of living and is also affecting many different aspects of life in Papua New Guinea.

Take, for example, literacy. How do you equip teachers working in remote communities with the skills they need to effectively teach children to read when travelling is not an option and when you don’t want to expose a community to the risks of importing COVID? The answer is to bring the classroom to the teacher.

The Oil Search Foundation (OSF) working with the local organisation Buk bilong Pikinini (BbP) recently did just that. Using the new communications tool, Zoom it helped teachers in remote settings improve their skills via a virtual classroom.

Lillyce Kuayupa, teacher librarian at the Fugwa Literacy Library in Koroba- Kopiago district of Hela province who sat in the training said,

“using Zoom was a completely new experience for me. I was surprised how well it worked. I realised it’s possible to continue to improve the quality of learning even when you don’t have face to face access to trainers. I was really surprised that not only did it work as a training tool, it was a lot of fun.”
- Lillyce Kuayupa Teacher Librarian

BbP officer Leanne Resson, said the ‘new normal’ requires everyone to be innovative to ensure students continue to receive quality learning.

Image of zoom call with basic numeracy and participants on side panel

“This new way of learning is not just important for literacy. It’s a tool that can be used in all other sectors where training is essential and where it’s difficult to maintain a classroom, a teacher and school materials. It is a model for the future in remote service delivery and shows how a challenge such as COVID can lead to innovation.

Here’s to the new normal.