In this interview, Mr. Ebenezer Takyi Assinor, a teacher shares his views on some of the challenges that teachers and students are facing in this time of crisis. Ebenezer is the Assistant Head Master of Berekuso Basic School and is also one of the lead facilitators of the Exploratory club in his school.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your work as a teacher?
The main challenge with this whole crisis is that because academic work has stopped we will not be able to finish our syllabus. To an extent the students will be the most affected.
Can you elaborate more on this?
First we will not be able to finish the syllabus as scheduled, the academic calendar has been distorted and students are likely to forget what they have been taught. Again the cycle for the academic calendar will have to be prolonged to make up for the lost time. Most importantly, BECE candidates are now at home and without guidance or supervision most of them will not learn.
Can you please tell me about what you do now that you are home?
I read books on the course that I study at the university and also I have 3 students that I teach privately. Aside that I rest
Do you reach out to your students to check up on them?
I reach out to few. The reason for not being able to reach most of them is because I don’t have their contacts.
And how are the few that you contacted faring?
The few that I reached are doing well but their parents complained that they are not learning.
So what are you doing to help?
The issue with government schools is something. The parents want everything for free so even if you intend to roll out any initiative you do that at your own expense and risk. If you don’t take care it may look like you are extorting money from them and if care is not taken your job will be in jeopardy so for any plan we have to wait for the government.
So what plans do you have regarding making up for the lost time when school reopens?
For now, I think the broad plan will come from government then we on the ground will break it down and implement it. For example, we may run the term without any break which will help cater for the lost time or maybe organize weekend classes or instead of closing at 3 o’clock we may close at.
Okay impressive, please do you have anything more to say?
If there will be an NGO to support us like how the private schools are doing now with the online teaching and learning (virtual learning) for their students it will be great.
Interview by: Saviour Okine
Compiled by: Christian Sackey-Acquah