The topic for today is the 'Pandemic- A boon or bane for parents'. Ma'am, would you please shed some light on the topic.
It depends entirely on your perspective. You can make it a boon or you can make it a bane. It entirely depends on how parents are taking it. If taken positively, everything is a boon. No one was prepared for the pandemic as we didn't know this would happen. Life is going on as it did. Nothing has changed if you think it hasn't.
What do you think about online classes? As a teacher, I think you will be able to explain both sides of the parents and teachers.
It's truly difficult for everyone to adjust to the current scenario. As a parent, I am missing the time I used to get when my kids were going to school. However, with online teaching, we can get sometimes. I'm not interfering with my elder child's studies because she is already seven years old and she can understand her teachers. When the classes are interactive and the teachers are interacting with the children, it's not like they are just sitting and watching them. Most of the schools are trying to give interactive classes. The school environment is quite different and cannot be like online classes at home. I have taught myself so I know that. However, I can see how much effort the schools and teachers are putting into online classes. They are trying to interact with each and every child which is quite commendable. So, online classes are great for us. It is not easy for the child to stay at home all day. It also gets difficult for parents to engage them. I can give them hundreds of activities yet they will still get bored at some point or the other. I can tell her to do crafts but if she is doing it in online classes with other kids of her age and is being guided by her teacher, it will become more interesting for her. My daughters are liking it. Not the younger one though. She is only three so it's difficult to make her sit for online classes. I have two age groups. One is highly engaged and the other one is not interested in the class. The toddler age group is a struggle for me. I myself give online classes. I am currently teaching one student for two years who is in 10th standard. It is difficult to explain topics as they need personal assistance like geometry and others where you have to show the child what they need to do. There the problem comes. Other than that, it is going smoothly. We just need to keep them engaged.
So, we can get personal satisfaction from seeing what they are doing. I think that is the only benefit of online classes. The problem is they are not getting that school environment.
Yes, that is the main problem because kids like to be in the school environment. That is their personal space. They miss their friends and teachers.
What according to you is more convenient- Online Education or Offline Education?
Offline education is always the best. However, with online education your reach increases. My child has attended classes where the teachers are from Qatar, London and so on. This was not possible in offline education. This opportunity has opened up now and I sincerely hope it will continue like that in the future. So this is boon with the pandemic. Earlier I didn't enquire about online classes as everything was available nearby. We never enquired about online classes yet they were happening earlier as well. Because of the pandemic, this sphere has opened up for the parents.
Without the pandemic, I don't think anyone would have known about online classes.
Right, even I was not interested in online classes. I am very strict with their time on television and didn't like to give them a lot of screen time. I never give them my phone and even hide the iPad as well. With the onset of online classes, I came to know about things. One is interactive learning and one where the child is simply sitting in front of the tv. For example, when you enrol a child for a craft class, the teacher gives the child instructions. Hence, the children are not glued to the screen. They are taking the instructions and using their ideas to make something. So, that is not exactly screen time. Parents must understand this as many are still not enrolling children for online classes. I think they should be exploring. There are dance classes, singing classes and many other things you can do. Even I have learned a lot about things that we're unexplored for me.
Online education is more about academics and less about co-curricular activities. Is that affecting the mental health of kids?
People think that online classes affect their mental health because they are only offering academic lessons. However, that is not true. People are teaching music, craft and so on. Even the coding classes are not purely academic. We are attending Whitehart junior and Uable classes which are very creative. My daughter has already learnt to make a portfolio. I didn't even know what a portfolio is at her age. She knows more than me. It's not like we are affecting their growth or teaching them too much. The more they know, the wiser they will be. There are no restrictions or age limits with being wiser. I think Indian education has put that restriction with NCRT books and syllabus. Kids now have the opportunity to learn more so why not give them the chance.
Thank you so much, ma'am. That was a really fruitful session.