If you have a school going kid, you can’t miss reading this!!!
The Covid-19 has changed everything around us. How we lives, thought or even reacted has changed. Education for kids and how things are taught will change too. While, as a parent, I have opposed the concept of learning on-screens for years. In the current situation, I feel it has been a boon. I am more at peace, as my ward is within the confines of my home, safe and sound with me.
Recently, a notification from the government was released stating that they are reducing number of online hours for the kids.
Pre Primary to grade 2 – No classes
Grade 3 to 5- 1 hour
Grade 6 to 8 – 2 hours
Grade 9-12- 3 hours
Before I discuss my thoughts on this let me further tell you that the government also said that for grade 9-12th the schools will open in July and for the other by August.
Here are two Big topics of Discussion- Online Schooling and its challenges in the times of Covid
How much of Online Schooling is enough?
A – Most parents and kids are happy with some online schooling as it gives them a routine and the learning does not stop. The schools should, however, realise that online schooling cannot replace regular schooling and in their endeavour to cover the entire syllabus they are unnecessarily burdening the kids and the parents.
Why can’t the parents teach kids on their own?
One some parents are working parents and with household added to their list of things to do don’t have the bandwidth to do that and the others maybe don’t have the knack or inclination to do that. Some of us have picked up the ropes of homeschooling but it may not be in the skillsets of others. So at least, online schooling is giving us some routine.
As for number of hours, I am personally glad that they have reduced them for the higher grades because we can’t run online schooling like regular school. Long term effects can be harmful. Continuous staring at the screen can affect the eyes and brain too. Plus then they have to do assignments and even tuitions are happening online. My elder one who is 14-year-old has been complaining of continuous headaches. As for my younger one who is 9, it has been his way of connecting with his classmates and his school is giving him a good break in between 3 hours of online school which is decent.
For every child the parent needs a different device to login from. Then a wifi connection with high speed and a more number of GBs is needed. To print the worksheets everyone needs a printer as well. Plus the usage of all the devices have increased.
Coming to the Second part of the News;
Kids from grade 9-12th are expected to start regular school from July. Honestly, as a parent, I am not willing to send my kids out and take a risk unless I am absolutely sure of their safety. When I discussed this in my peer group, all parents had the same opinion. Some are willing to wait till the vaccine arrives on scene and some with pre primary have even dropped their kid’s from school and are focusing on homeschooling. The parent sentiment is more or less the same. The only exception being parents whose kids are in grade 9th and above because these are crucial years with the board examination and university admissions lurking in the near future. The pressure on such kids and parents is understandable.
What can we do?
*If collectively we don’t send the kids, the schools will have no choice but to close down.
*We have anyway paid the school fee for the year so the schools have nothing to worry.
* Online schooling cannot replace regular schooling and it’s as new for schools as it’s for the students and parents.
*So can we all take a breather and maybe just relax the syllabus for this year?
I also read in a news article recently, a grade 10th kid tried to commit suicide as he could not handle the pressure anymore.
While there so many talks on #mentalhealth and #stayingalive going on for 2020. Why can’t we as parents and educators focus on that for kids?
Will a loss of few months of education or reducing the syllabus burden mean that these kids will not do well in life?
I think a debate, a talk and a serious plan of action on this, needs to start.
If you are a parent or have siblings who are facing this, do voice your opinion.