Jasford Gabriel

Student Indiscipline a Concern for Teachers during Online Classes - JTA

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The President of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), Jasford Gabriel, has expressed the view that indiscipline by some students who use online learning platforms has presented challenges for teachers engaged in digital learning.

Speaking at a JTA symposium on Thursday, Gabriel posited that indiscipline among students largely stems from the poor supervision of children at home.

"We are finding issues in terms of supervision at home; parents... or the caregivers were never prepared to offer the kind of supervision at home to minimise indiscipline on the platform spaces and to ensure that students can benefit immensely from the experience," he stated.

"So that is also something that has to be treated with if we are going to be in a better space in terms of offering quality instructions," Gabriel added.

The inappropriate behaviour by several students during virtual classes were widely circulated on social media platforms at the initial phase of online learning last month.

Meanwhile, Gabriel opined that educators themselves also face challenges in relation to the various learning patterns that are most applicable to the students.

"Challenges (too) in terms of treating with the multiple intelligence in the digital spaces; students learn differently and we now have the challenge to deal with the differentiated kinds of instruction that is necessary to reach our learners individually," the JTA president stated.

Amid those challenges, Gabriel commended the educators for going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that students are not left behind.

Moving forward, he called on the Ministry of Education to adjust their expectations of teachers, given the peculiarities of the new digital learning phase.

"I call upon the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, as well as our administrators, to be conscious of the challenges that the teachers are experiencing both from a mental standpoint, as well as a pedagogical standpoint, and adjust expectations accordingly," Gabriel urged.

It is from that viewpoint that the JTA president has assured that the association will be "very much involved in the process to make sure that the expectations of our teachers in these changing dynamics are reasonable and realistic." 

Latest Member Musings