Colombo, 8 December 2020 – Sri Lanka’s leading stationery manufacturer, Atlas Axillia Co., recently hosted a teacher training webinar targeting primary teachers for the first time in Sri Lanka. The webinar was facilitated by Atlas to help ease the challenges faced by both, teachers and students during the pandemic when adapting to virtual learning environments – a fairly new concept faced by the country’s education system. The online event was one of Atlas’s many initiatives launched to support students to continue their education during the pandemic.
With over 400 teachers joining from across the country, the webinar was conducted by Mr. Wasantha Herath, National Representative of Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC), who spoke about “The Role of Teachers During the COVID-19 Pandemic” and introduced interactive and effective methods of getting students involved during online classes.
Commenting on the webinar, Asitha Samaraweera, Managing Director at Atlas Axillia Co. said, “The pandemic had unexpectedly forced our education system to move into a digital learning space, leaving teachers to adapt on their own with little or no training. Teachers are a vital part of our education system and it is essential for them to have adequate tools in order to navigate this digital shift.” He added, “For many years, Atlas has empowered teachers through multiple outreach programmes such as ‘Guru Garu’. Despite the pandemic, we will continue our commitment to provide the necessary training for teachers around the country that will enable them to foster students with equal learning opportunities.”
During the webinar, Mr. Herath encouraged teachers to be resilient through the pandemic, emphasizing that their response to the pandemic is what matters most, especially to the students. He stressed on the importance of children’s mental health during the pandemic and asked teachers to educate beyond books – by helping students connect with their parents as well as nature as it directly impacts their education. The webinar also covered the benefits of online education and how teachers can utilize online platforms such as YouTube in order to stay relevant in the digital times. Mr. Herath reminded the teachers not to underestimate the technological knowledge of primary school children in this day and age.
Teachers found the webinar to be interactive as many rushed to the chat boxes to ask questions and a few participants who had the chance to speak during the webinar encouraged Atlas to continue these online trainings as they were insightful to their teaching careers. There was also an opportunity for teachers to compete for Atlas gift hampers through a quiz that was presented during the webinar.
Earlier this year, during the nation-wide lockdown, Atlas launched an online tutoring video series to support grade 5 scholarship students with their studies. Additionally, Atlas released a video for parents featuring advice from Ama Dissanayake, Psychotherapist and Child Psychology Counselor, about how parents can care for their children during this tough and disoriented period. Atlas shared different types of art and craft activities that parents could use to help engage their children at home while easing them into the new setting and most importantly, make memories. Atlas also partnered with the Ministry of Education to educate children about hygiene & safety in order to maintain a safe learning environment when it was time for them to go back to school under the “new normal” circumstances.