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Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo

Experts ensure school year progresses despite health crisis due to COVID-19

During the third virtual meeting held by INTEC, Dinorah García, rector of the Pedro Poveda Institute, assured that the Dominican educational system and society have to move from traditional practices to another way of thinking about education

SANTO DOMINGO. -The suspension de classroom teaching at country, due to the isolation measures imposed by the Government to counteract the propagation of Coronavirus (COVID-19), has broken with the perception that the education sector was not prepared to educate manner virtual, stated Antón Tejeda, president of the Association of Private Educational Institutions (AINEP).
By participating in the webinar "Implications of COVID 19 for the Dominican education system"Organized by the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), Tejeda considered that the pandemic has produced a process of development of a system virtual education in private education institutions and these learning can be placed at the service of the public educational system, encouraging children, adolescents and young people, from provinces with less economic development, to access higher quality education virtually.
"Private schools are willing to share best practices, technologies, teacher training, whatever is necessary so that we can develop that virtual education and have it there, even if it is 10, 15 or 20% of the Dominican educational system, both public and private to serve those rural areas that do not have teachers and educational facilities, "said Tejeda.
In addition, he considered that several actors need to be involved, among them the telecommunications sector, the Digital Republic, leading institutions such as INICIA, and thus it will be a way of reducing educational inequality in the Dominican Republic, ”he argued.
On his side, Antonio Caparrós, executive director of the INICIA Education Foundation, assured that schools are much more than infrastructure and that this is only one variable in the equation that does not define the quality of what is offered by educational centers.
Caparrós stressed that, in his opinion, despite the multiple difficulties la Education ha continued and what has happened is a suspension of attendance at educational centers, but education has continued in multiple ways and the educational system is entering a period of improvement.
"The main challenge must be to maintain the interest of children and young people, to keep whatever tools we have at hand for their motivation, and to hope that this is a stage that is going to pass and from which much will be learned."
He pointed out that a great learning that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic leaves, is that, despite the importance of infrastructure, education is not limited to it and this is a demonstration that continuing education.
In this sense, the rector of the Pedro Poveda Higher Institute of Educational Studies, Dinorah García Romero, considered that the Dominican educational system is immersed in a learning system, which includes learning to manage complex contexts.
“We are taking steps on how to educate in difficult times and also becoming aware that when talking about education, it must be done in a comprehensive way. We are very interested in the development of students, teachers, managers and the development of support staff, "said García.
For the rector, the mission and practices of the educational system must be much more comprehensive and look more closely at what is immediate, at school or at university. "This time tells us that the Dominican educational system and society have to move, because we, from traditional and habitual practices, have to move towards another way of thinking about education, doing it and feeling it."
In addition, Xiomara Guante, president of the Dominican Association of Teachers (ADP) and Víctor Sánchez, vice-minister of Planning of the Ministry of Education (MINERD), participated in the virtual meeting, and was moderated by Elisa Elena González, director of the Center for Educational Studies INTEC.
Student assessment and learning
The president of the Dominican Association of Teachers (ADP), Xiomara Guante, said that teachers know their students and evaluations, although they are a requirement, are not decisive. “As a classroom teacher I can tell you that every teacher knows which is the student what is prepared to make your promotion, the test is rather a requirement that is important, but it is not decisive ”.
Guante said that the system is capable of moving this school year forward and concluding it without suspending the accompaniment that can play a fundamental role. In addition, he stressed that another challenge is the start of the next school year, because it is necessary to think of a propedeutic that allows taking things by way of review, feedback and rethinking the refocusing of Digital Republic, to optimize resources.
He described the impact of COVID-19 on the teaching population as "a very strong dress" and reported that 11 teachers he passed away in the country for Coronavirus, entre ellos four retirees, and other 22 cases confirmed. He indicated that there is also another number that did not specify that they present very marked symptoms of the disease, but that is waiting for the analysis to confirm or rule out the infection.
On his side, Víctor Sánchez, vice minister of Planning of the Ministry of Education (MINERD), stressed that governments have chosen to establish alternative responses to education during the period of social distancing, which point to ICTs and virtuality. He pointed out that the portal has been created, through Digital Republic se will assign un computer to each student de secondary and have been distributed 300 thousand notebooks and some 27 thousand laptops a teachersIn addition, the tender is advancing to provide connectivity to 800 educational centers that receive 880,000 secondary school students.
He stressed that the idea is to turn the health crisis into an opportunity to overcome the problems that plague the educational system and ensure the development of effective learning opportunities for children and adolescents.
“Furthermore, and this should be the subject of further study, a higher level of autonomy is observed by students to manage their own learning; We are more aware of the gap that exists regarding access and connectivity in the country, and if these gaps are not properly addressed, they can become amplifiers of inequalities and limit the learning opportunities of our students, ”said Sánchez.

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