In our last webinar (#5) and in continuing with our goal of sharing of ideas we invited Mr Manasa Naeqe who has attended some of our other sessions. Manasa teaches at Bua Central College, Vanua Levu. We had at short notice requested that Manasa share with us his experience of how he teaches Biology and Science, especially under the current circumstances. He did not disappoint. We were thoroughly impressed by his embracing of virtual technology and then taking this and applying his local knowledge to his students' circumstances.
The challenges he encounters in Bua (site of the first European traders for those who are History teachers) are all too familiar to us: lack of resources, student readiness, how to conduct science practicals, internet network issues, and accessibility. But it is what Manasa does to overcome these challenges is indeed impressive and a credit to him and his professionalism. These are some of these strategies he employs for his students:
Organised with the Turaqa-ni-koro(s) to supply worksheets to his students who live in the islands off Bua.
Preparing and providing student home learning resources for 2-3 weeks rather than weekly so that all students have access including offshore
Consultation with the students on when they can be available. He often conducts his classes over Zoom at night when the students have access to their parent's mobile devices.
prepare lesson notes one month in advance. These lesson notes are given in advance before the Zoom session
Providing written worksheet solutions for students to check and determine the answers along with feedback that he provides
Provide Zoom recording classes made available through Google Drive sharing.
Providing contacts for consultation when students are in need of help.
The saying "from adversity comes opportunity" couldn't be any more truer. Despite the trying times, Manasa identified some positive outcomes. Using the examples above here are the positive attributes that he described for himself as having become better off at :
Being team work oriented
Being knowledgeable about the use of technology in teaching
The ideas Manasa presented can no doubt be used for you for your students.
Manasa's PowerPoint presentation can be found below and we hope to share the session recording itself separately.