By Damon Mitchell • 25 March 2020 • 15:05
Online teaching: May cause issues for certain families.
THE lessons have not been suspended, only the way in which the classes are given, due to the health alarm and the obligation to stay home. Attendance at the classroom has been abolished, but the teaching activity is maintained daily in the homes of the students. Teachers have developed schedules and ways that they have adapted to isolation to ensure the teaching and learning process continues during this time. However, some families will struggle as they do not have possibilities of accessing these telematic platforms putting vulnerable families that may not be able to afford home computers or internet connection at risk of exclusion.
Pilar Triguero, spokesperson for the Federation of Parents Association in the province (FDAPA), explains that it is being “very difficult” for many families and that this situation is causing inequalities. “No one was prepared for such a situation, but neither has it been shown in education,” he says. He also notes that “Many children do not have a laptop or an internet connection and make a great effort working with a mobile.”
Triguero asks teachers to have common sense to help their students and applauds the “titanic work of many teachers, who communicate by WhatsApp and emails” constantly, and those who are sharing for free and putting their online work.
On the flipside, Pedro Jerez is a teacher at the Colegio Manuel Siurot in the capital. He recognises that there are colleagues who have not understood what educational teleworking consists of. “They are not reviewing activities or sending homework. In the virtual classroom there must be feedback because doubts continue to exist,” he says.
Jerez is an advocate of the use of new technologies in class, because “it is one thing for our students to be digital natives and another thing that we have been concerned with integrating that technology.”
“In my specific case, I have been fortunate that my students had already acquired certain habits, so this period of confinement is being easier for everyone,” says a teacher who says that during all this time he has spoken with all his students, but also with parents, grandparents or uncles, through phone, chat or video calls.
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