Photo credit: UNICEF/Thomas Cristofoletti
As we celebrate World Teachers' Day on 5 October, it is important to remember the essential role of teachers in quality education. In this global crisis, many teachers have had to adapt and reinvent their way of working. Chandy is a teacher in a class for children with disabilities in Cambodia and she talks about the impact of COVID-19 on her daily life.
Horm Chandy is 25 years old and works as a teacher in the village of Kravien, not far from the capital of Cambodia. She works with children with disabilities in a class developed by Aide et Action and the Rabbit School association, which aims at integrating these children into the public school and offering them a more inclusive education. Following the COVID-19 crisis, she had to change her teaching methods.
" I teach, together with another teacher, a class of 10 students aged 4 to 9, all living with various disabilities such as autism and other intellectual disabilities, explains Chandy. Our teaching strategies are designed to meet the specific needs of all children as their abilities vary. But since the closure of schools in March due to COVID-19, students have not been able to return to school.
Home visits and support
Now I spend two days a week visiting my students at home and giving them homework and exercises. For those who need special attention, I even go there regularly. In some cases I explain to parents how to teach their children from home. Sometimes some of them record videos and send them to me to show me the progress of their children. But it is very difficult to teach like this. The longer the children stay at home, the less improvement there is. I am really worried about their development and education. "
However, Chandy has seen some positive effects of the crisis, such as parents spending more time with their children and improving relationships between parents and children. " Personally, the crisis has led me to develop more flexible learning strategies. It is a good opportunity to try out new technologies and develop my computer skills. With the support of Aide et Action and Rabbit School, I was able to access online learning tools and share files on digital platforms, which I had never done before. I also used video and social networks as new ways of communicating with parents. "
Shapers of the future
The theme of World Teachers' Day 2020 is Teachers: leaders in crisis and shapers of the future. On this occasion, UNESCO recalls: "Teacher leadership in crisis response is not only timely, it is essential as teachers have helped to provide distance education, assist vulnerable groups, reopen schools and mitigate learning gaps.
Aide et Action supports teachers all over the world and congratulates all those who, despite the crisis, continue to carry out their essential mission with strength and dedication!