Children’s Day: Here’s how youngsters can succeed with online education and cope with the new normal
Children’s Day is observed as a tribute to India's First Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, affectionately known as Chacha Nehru among children. On this day, many innovative programmes are usually held in schools across India for children. This year, however, everything has changed.
Online education is the new normal in schools
The outbreak of COVID-19 has not been kind to most of the sectors in India. The absence of a vaccine and the risks involved in working together and in groups is hurting most operational sectors in India, especially our schools. Almost all children have been affected due to the delay in education that this pandemic has brought about.
The entire education industry is in a dilemma as to whether or not schools should be opened. Although there are advisories recommended by the UNICEF to reduce the risk of contagion, when it comes to the lives of our little ones, there is no room for any risk.
The new normal
Online classes can be challenging and fun
Fortunately for us, this dilemma has enabled us all to depend on the emerging form of teaching and education – Online learning. This system is being evaluated and being practised in several schools at the moment to understand the effectiveness of this system. However, there are several factors that need to be considered with such a system to ensure that everyone can cope with the new normal.
Since teachers have limited access to the children in their classes during this situation, it becomes the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children are better connected, equipped and studying as they would in a regular school environment, and children to learn to adjust to the new situation.
Understand the situation
Teachers need to explain the situation to their students
It is very important for us as teachers and parents to explain the current situation to our children. It is our responsibility to explain to them that the pandemic has presented an obstacle in learning, however schools and parents will be working harder to not let this pandemic affect their learning, and they should take studying seriously during this time.
More so, it is important that children understand that learning from home is not a substitution, vacation or ‘pause in schooling’. It is merely schooling from a different location. This is crucial since children need to understand the seriousness of learning from home and give it the same value that they would ordinarily give to schools.
A routine must be followed
Working parents who have been adapting to the ‘Work from Home’ will understand the difficulties of this set-up. The most pressing issues associated with this set-up are related to focus and physical posture-related problems.
Hence it is important for children to have a structure established as a routine that should be followed at any cost. Children will need a designated space that has replaced their normal school desk. The practice of writing and engaging with the teacher must continue just as it would in a school.
Replace outdoor extracurricular activities
This pandemic has limited our movement and restricted us to be settled in compact spaces, which has also affected the extracurricular activities of children.
During this time, teachers and parents must actively encourage children to use technology to constantly unwind from regular school learning and engage with informational content available over the internet.
Children can learn many lessons from online classes to increase their knowledge of the outside world. Also. it would be a good idea to reduce their screen time and engage in other activities.
Families have to get tech-savvy
Parents have to get tech-savvy in order to help their children
One of the major concerns of this set-up is the handling of technology by children. Children need access to an open internet, which requires a thorough check by the parents. Use the parental lock facility and block certain websites that may be harmful to children.
Parents would also need adequate knowledge of the internet and the use of technology to ensure that their children are actually attending these classes.
The success of this entire set-up is highly dependent upon the collaboration between teachers and parents. They need to work together to be involved in the teaching-learning process as parental guidance in this set-up is highly significant and essential for the development of the child.
Furthermore, parents will need to take that extra step, to be teachers at home. Parents must take the initiative of acquiring some counselling skills to be there for their children during this tough time.
If both parents are working, then parents should assign a go-to parent for specific queries for efficient coordination. And finally, not to forget, this time is as difficult for children as it is for us today. Teachers and parents must have patience, compassion and be empathetic towards children during these difficult times.
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(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)