“With the ongoing pandemic in force, educational platforms such as learning management systems (LMS) and learning content management systems (LCMS) are absolutely key to providing effective educational solutions to students in the current context .
However, all of these valuable tools need to be paired with brilliant teaching in order to truly provide high quality eLearning and blended learning opportunities.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure teachers have sufficient knowledge of how to get the best from tech devices in general, to motivate their students towards their studies. The best way to move towards achieving this is to ensure that you have effective and quality teacher training” says Dr. (Mrs.) Jayanthi Gunasekara, the newly appointed Dean, Faculty of Education, Horizon Campus, Sri Lanka, speaking on the emerging educational needs and responses Sri Lanka need to adopt.
She added that for educators, the COVID-19 Pandemic is a quintessential adaptive and transformative challenge, one for which there is no pre-configured playbook that can guide appropriate responses. Teachers are pushed to swiftly design specific learning contexts to give the best to the student population in the country.
Given this need, Dr.Gunasekera outlined the plans that Horizon Campus has initiated as a solution, through their comprehensive teacher training degree that provides continuous professionaldevelopment of teachers to gain the required competences to facilitate student learning in the current and future context .
Comprising of both international and national degrees they range from Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) Honours and the M.Ed programmeawarded by prestigious Asia E University (AeU ) Malaysia, and the Bachelor of Education Degree designed by Horizon Campus, accredited by the University Grants Commission.
“The ability to make trainee teachers fully prepared for an educational landscape where blended and virtual teaching and learning may become more commonplace is paramount in our degree where we train them with methodologies to manage these situations successfully to best benefit the students” explained Dr.Gunasekera.
The quality of an education system will not exceed the quality of its teachers. Improving teacher competence in facilitating learning must be a priority if we want to improve the quality of learning and this will be a key area that I will be focusing on at Horizon Campus she further stated.
Having held key positions in the education sector prior to her appointment at Horizon Campus that includes being the Assistant Director General (Research, Planning and Teacher Education) and Deputy Director General at the National Institute of Education, the Vice Chairperson of the National Education Commission, where the national education policies are proposed and formulated, and the Director General of the National Institute of Education , she holds over 40 years of experience in the industry.
The Chairman of Horizon Campus Mr. Upul Dharanagama said “the education of teachers is undoubtedly a national priority, and one that Horizon campus is committed to. Dr.Gunasekera’s appointment will ensure that the Faculty of Education will have an even greater impact, not only with regard to the undergraduate and postgraduate training of teachers, but also in research engagement programmes for the sector .”
Dr.Gunasekera’s appointment comes at an opportune time where Horizon Campus is in the process of further strengthening their Faculty of Education, as it builds on its teaching and research and its outstanding reputation, to provide further leadership to the industry at the time that it is facing many challenges due to the current pandemic in force.