In this article, I am going to share with you my personal experience of teaching during the pandemic and encourage the education fraternity to keep up with the heroic work of obliging to the World Health Organisation’s measures during the physical contact phase. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “The only thing that is more expensive than education is ignorance.”
For both teachers and learners, the primary thought that comes to mind every day is, “How many more cases has Namibia registered?” Then one makes his way to school with faith and positivity. At the threshold of the school, it is mandatory to put on a mask, sanitize hands and record temperature. That has become the norm. In classes, there is a dignified sitting arrangement of 1.5-metre distance between the learners.
The transaction of the education is rather challenging, as teachers cover their mouths with masks, deterring learners who learn much better with non-verbal communication such as the reading of lips. In addition, both the teacher and the learner handsomely limit movements in the classroom.
Before every lesson, there is “Rational emotive therapy” counselling. The aim is to challenge irrational thinking that may lead to unhappiness and depression, and change that thinking to a more positive one and rational philosophy of life. In most cases, learners are ambivalent towards the lessons as they have subconscious thoughts of the virus during the lesson. In addition, sharing of resources is also a challenge during the pandemic, especially books. It gets hard to collect books for marking purposes, lest it might expose both the teacher and the leaner to the virus.
Overall, teachers should work hard to ensure that the learners are inspired, protected from the virus and yield desirable results in the education endeavour. After all, Aristotle once said, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”