Experiences of Teachers in Implementing the “Education in Emergency” During COVID-19 pandemic, 2020: A Case Study in Lower Secondary School in Eastern Bhutan.
Keywords:Education in Emergency, Adaptive curriculum, e-learning, Google Classroom, SIM.
AbstractThis paper reports a case study carried out in a lower secondary school in the eastern district of Bhutan on implementing the “Education in Emergency” program during the closure of schools in 2020 due to the novel COVID-19 pandemic. It investigated teachers’ experiences of how effectively they implemented the “Education in Emergency” (EiE) Programme initiated by the Ministry of Education, Bhutan through various online tools. This study employed a sequential multi-method paradigm starting with the survey of all teachers (n=35), preceded by in-depth semi-structured interviews, observations, and detailed field notes of teachers (n=6) who were purposefully selected based on the survey findings. The study focused on understanding the teachers’ awareness of the change of curriculum, students’ level of preparedness for online learning, support from various stakeholders; school, parents, and Dzongkhag Education Sector, and perceptions of teachers on the special program “Reaching the Unreached” initiated by the school solely aimed at benefiting the students who were unable to access from the e-learning platforms. The study revealed some of the barriers to effective teaching and learning such as teachers’ inadequate skills in using technological devices, lack of smart phoness or laptops, data packages, and weak internet connectivity. The study also reveals numerous positive findings, such as proactive support from schools in implementing EiE, parents' support for students’ learning and pioneering ”reaching the unreached” initiatives to support students who were not favoured by e-learning platforms. Although the school has showcased exemplary professionalism, additional improvements and modifications are required to successfully navigate the EiE.
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