The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of each of us. As September marks the beginning of the new school year in many countries around the world, the question is how the reopening process will be handled. These days a lot of weight is carried on the shoulders of teachers and educators. In order to help them navigate the uncertainty of returning to school, we have worked together with UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa on the Ready to Come Back: Teacher Preparedness Training Package. On this occasion, Aflatoun International welcomed Jeannette Vogelaar, Regional Education Advisor UNICEF MENA to our office in Amsterdam.
“Education is very important for children and their future. In the last months due to COVID-19, the education process stopped, schools have been closed since mid-March for almost 5-6 months now. A lot of them had alternative options like online schooling, television, and radio; but we have also seen that a lot of children could not make use of it. On the one hand, they did not have any resources like the internet, computers or tablets, but also because they weren’t prepared or because they didn’t have any support. It was very difficult for teachers and parents to know how to resolve this challenge without facilitation. That’s why we, UNICEF and Aflatoun, created this package for teachers who play a very important role in children’s well-being and their ability to catch up on their learning. This package is specifically for schools that are gradually reopening in many countries in the world. In some countries they are already open and in others, they are planning to reopen up as soon as possible and as safe as possible,” says Jeannette Vogelaar, UNICEF’s Regional Education Advisor for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The package focuses on practical tips for teachers on how to keep them and their students safe and healthy as well as ways of addressing missed and regressed learning during school closure. It’s contextualized to the MENA region, but can be excellent informational and planning tool for teachers everywhere during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What’s unique about the TPTP is that it talks directly to teachers during these uncertain times- providing them with tips and tools that they can actually implement as they navigate the return to schooling. It also provides a reminder to teachers about the importance of not just student safety and wellbeing but also of their own. Much of the advice is simply informed by good practices and something they can carry on doing in more stable times,” says Michelle Tjeenk Willink, Senior Curriculum Manager at Aflatoun International.
The package is available in English, Arabic, and French, and can be downloaded here.
Aflatoun International and its network of partners carry out dozens of training of teachers and trainers each year based on our unique methodology. In 2019, we trained more than 50 thousand teachers across the globe.