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UNESCO, Blackboard Gives 10,000 Caribbean Teachers New Online Skills

KINGSTON — The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO and Blackboard will train 54 Caribbean Master Trainers using the Cascade Model and expand the training to 10,000 Caribbean teachers across the sub-region. Teachers will be trained in the use of online education tools, resources and interactive platforms to effectively engage students through online learning.

Since the onset of the pandemic, distance education has been a challenge for many teachers due to, for example, little or no connectivity, lack of access to devices and online education resources, and the challenges of moving quickly from traditional classroom instruction to an online environment.

In response to the education crisis, UNESCO and its partners launched the “Education response to Covid-19: Distance Learning and Teacher Training Strategies in the Caribbean Region and Jamaica”, in January 2021.

On 22 June 2021, the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean, based in Kingston, Jamaica, in collaboration with Blackboard, the leading EdTech company for higher education and K-12, the Caribbean Centre for Educational Planning (CCEP) at the University of the West Indies and UNICEF Jamaica, will launch the first series of the three four-week teacher trainings. In a partnership with UNICEF in Jamaica, the initiative aims to train 5000 Jamaican teachers nationally.

“This initiative gives teachers strategies, tools and resources to use in the digital space to create an online classroom environment that meets the needs of both students and teachers,” said Dr Faryal Khan, Programme Specialist for Education at UNESCO.

In the pilot phase in September 2020, 40 teachers from the Caribbean sub-region were already trained as master trainers in blended learning and online strategies to enhance the capacity of 300 teachers in their countries.

Faryal Khan, Ed.D, UNESCO, said the joint project is being implemented under the UNESCO Global Coalition for Education, a global, multi-sectoral coalition of 175 institutional partners from the UN, civil society, academia and the private sector, which was established at the outset of the pandemic to ensure continuity of learning.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations with the aim of promoting peace and security through international cooperation in education, the sciences, culture, and communication and information.

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