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By Machela Osagboro

Teachers at schools across Antigua are appealing to parents to help their children stay focused and ensure they complete and submit assignments on time.

Principal at Golden Grove Primary School, Tameka Christian, urged youngsters to keep up with learning while schools are closed.

Christian told Observer that teachers have been hard at work setting up Google Classroom and WhatsApp groups, along with other creative methods to reach and engage pupils, and were keen for children not to fall behind.

Adelle Dublin, a grade six teacher, said she is up to the task but, “it’s been a learning process for both us as teachers, the parents and the students. I have had to learn how to use the platform and then teach the parent or child how to use it in almost the same breath”.

Dublin said a few parents have shared some frustration with the challenges which include accessing the material and navigating the site to submit work on time. Some have complained of a lack of access to the internet.

On the one hand, Dublin said that, “one parent expressed that she is not sure that her child is enjoying the work online”, and this could be a reason why the children have not been submitting the worksheets on time. On the other hand, she shared that another parent said that her child is enjoying the new mode of schooling because it keeps her very active.

Like many other teachers, Dublin is craving the classroom atmosphere but says she is enjoying watching the children communicating with each other online and most of her students have shared that they find online learning interesting.

Another teacher, from SR Olivia David Primary School in Bolans, has a benevolent way of engaging with her students. She shared that where she found some of her students did not have internet access, she has asked the parents to come to her house to collect worksheets so they can continue doing their work.

Meanwhile, a kindergarten teacher at St Peter’s Academy stated that she has been sending daily updates through her WhatsApp groups to parents, encouraging them to keep their toddlers alert.

She says that she is also working on setting up an online platform to post work for the parents and regularly asks parents to send videos and pictures of the children’s progress.

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