More than 5,000 teachers complete Digital Teacher Course

In line with the national priorities to transform education in the country, the Ministry of Education and Skills Development partnered with UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development to implement Digital Teacher Course last year. Since then, more than 5,000 teachers have undergone the course across the country so far. Unlike the ‘chalk-and-talk’ method of teaching, the Digital Teacher course helps teachers create relevant, authentic, and engaging learning experiences using digital technology.

The Rinchen Kuenphen Primary School in Thimphu started using digital tools such as Flipped Classroom and Mentimeter to teach the students beginning this year.

In the Flipped classroom, students are required to study the contents before class, freeing class time for activities, interaction, and discussion.

Similarly, Mentimeter engages students using multiple-choice questions, quizzes and more.

Teachers say the use of digital tools has also helped them keep the students engaged during holidays.

“Flipped classroom is a 21st-century pedagogy, whereby students tend to learn online rather than in Classroom. Students take more interest in the flip classroom rather than the traditional teaching,” said Tashi Lhamo, a teacher at the Rinchen Kuenphen PS.

“The Flip class is not just a classroom learning. During holidays, instead of keeping the students free and wasting their time, it engages them meaningfully. When we have other programmes in the school such as rituals, students are assigned homework through the flipped classroom,” said Kinley Dema, another teacher.

Similarly, parents say integrating digital learning in classrooms is a fun way of engaging students.

“I think it is very useful for our kids. Particularly these days, our kids are using gadgets and browsing the Internet for various purposes. So, I think that when the teachers send the link on a particular topic, we are bound to give the mobile phone. And they end up using it for the better purpose,” said Nandalal Pradhan, a parent.

However, according to the school, network connectivity and high data charges are hampering the swift implementation of digitalisation.

“For those who cannot cope with the challenges of mobile connectivity at home and those who desperately need our support, we are exploring giving them support from the school Wi-Fi. We will be calling them to the school during those times so that children can use our IT lab and have access to school WiFi and complete the assignments given by the teachers. So, I think it will serve the purpose of the parents,” said Kuenzang Thinley, the Principal of the school.

Meanwhile, according to the education and skills development ministry, training teachers through the Digital Teacher Course will upskill teachers in using digital technologies to create better learning experiences.

“This is the age of ICT. We hope that our students will like this kind of teaching because our children are so used to using mobiles, and laptops so, if teachers use this in the classroom, teaching becomes more interesting,” said Tashi Lhamo, the chief programme officer of the department of school education under MoESD.

The ministry expects to train all the remaining teachers by the 15th of next month.

The course takes about five weeks to complete and teachers are provided with a certificate on completion. Since its launch in 2020, the Digital Teacher Course has over 12,000 alumni in more than 25 countries.

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