Great plans were made for the CNT Team to return to the West Bank in March to provide training for teachers in conjunction with the first LPJ Education Conference in Ramallah. Flights and accommodation were booked and timetables were organised. However, on March 10, the Palestinian Health Authority ordered the cancellation of all conferences and workshops because of the threat of Coronavirus. The CNT team was fortunate in being able to cancel all their arrangements with the only cost being part of the airfares.
The pandemic of COVID-19 halted this training – but not entirely. CNT embarked on a new strategy of training LPJ teachers online.
Lewis School in Southampton offered new Online Teacher Training courses. In the rush before lockdown in both Palestine and the UK, eight LPJ teachers from Palestine managed another first for themselves, registering online for a course on ‘Helping Students with Pronunciation’. Teachers from Jordan were unable to register in time because of the suddenness of the lockdown in their country. The eight teachers from across Palestine found this two-week course, entailing at least ten hours of individual work, a wonderful diversion and highly beneficial. They enjoyed the interaction with their English tutors and with other teachers from across the world.
The Jordanian teachers will start their ‘Helping Students with Pronunciation’ course later in May.
Another online course, ‘Getting Creative with Resources’, began on 4th May.
Twenty-one Palestinian teachers, including two from Gaza, have enrolled and are being creative with their new resources in a time when Palestine is in lockdown and their schools are closed. Continuous professional development continues despite the pandemic!