UNESCO Blackboard Academy Third Pilot Teachers Development Initiative Graduation Ceremony
On 25 March 2021, the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean, together with Blackboard, celebrated the successful completion of the third round of the Caribbean Pilot Project for Teachers for Online and Blended Learning Strategies.
The UNESCO Blackboard Academy Caribbean Sub-regional Pilot Project 2020 “Professional Development for Teachers for Blended Learning and Online Strategies”, was launched on 25 August 2020 to address the lack of education caused by the necessary school closures in the Caribbean region to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many teachers found themselves unable to cope with the new teaching reality of distance learning and had to adapt to virtual teaching at lightning speed. To equip teachers with the necessary IT and ICT skills to cope with the new learning environment of distance education and to provide quality teaching, this pilot initiative was launched under the UNESCO Global Education Coalition.
Faryal Khan, Ed.D., Programme Specialist for Education at the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean, opened the graduation ceremony on 25 March via Zoom. She congratulated the 16 teachers from the Caribbean Small Island Developing States, who successfully completed the programme. She further thanked Blackboard for their support in organizing and implementing this initiative and reinforced interest in strengthening the partnership to expand the initiative.
With this third certification ceremony, UNESCO and Blackboard have trained 60 teachers since the launch of the pilot initiative in August, who have successfully completed the course with a four-week workshop.
The role of teacher leadership in crisis response is not only timely, but also critical to the contribution teachers have made to enable distance learning, support vulnerable groups, reopen schools and ensure that learning gaps have been addressed.
Joel Armando of Blackboard Academy, who facilitated the third round of the pilot, virtually presented the certificates of completion. Whether teachers plan to use a blended classroom or a fully online classroom, this course supported them in making the transition in creating an online classroom environment that meets the needs of both students and teachers.
Faryal Khan, UNESCO Programme Specialist for Education, who coordinated the pilot project in the Caribbean, explained the role of master trainers as to share the gained skills and knowledge with other teachers in the Caribbean SIDS.