By now, most of us may have seen several social media posts and even news on the increasing number of errors found in the modules provided by the Department of Education. From instructing students to draw 896 stars to identifying an owl as an ostrich, the list of these errors seems to grow longer with each passing day.
We know for a fact that deciding to shift to online learning amid the coronavirus pandemic in anticipation of the new school year, which began on October 5 after a couple of delays, was a very quick one. A week later, we saw the consequences of such a hastily made decision and realized that teachers may not be able to do it alone, and that interventions from the students’ household are very much welcome and very much needed.
I could imagine those families with young children, and how parents must feel they are like students themselves, given the need to consistently review and ensure that their kids understand their lessons well. My niece, 8-year-old KD, has also been doing online schooling and, in the process, her entire household has learned with her — including their opening song “Hello to the Children of the World” — simply because she does not use headphones during her classes; her lessons can be heard, and learned, from the speakers.
This new schooling setup have paved the way for interventions to come in. It really does take a village to raise a child, so to speak, and for those with young children, supervision is essential. It is not difficult to zone out if you are in an online class for four hours a day, for example, and have breaks in between; and what children talk about during their breaks and assess what needs to be corrected at the end of the day. Errors that we have seen in the modules require parents or guardians to explain them, and we can supplement this with our own style, such as instilling the habit of reading books and learning to develop critical thinking skills. To a certain extent, learning becomes a culmination of the activities that transpire within the day, with online learning covering a portion of it. That said, it is important to expose children to supplementary learning materials that would help them learn and absorb new things. This could be identifying educational materials available online and on streaming services, teaching them to play board games that would be beneficial to them in the long run (an example of this is chess, in which one can learn how to strategize), and other related activities that would allow them to learn a new thing or two.
The point is that we must realize that our current online learning system setup need not be the only source of learning and knowledge, especially for young children. We can supplement this with other interventions and make productive use of their time. There will be opportunities in the continuous creation of learning content, so students will have variety in learning new things. Comparing this to the pre-Covid-19 setup of campus experience, students will now have more access to content, and that parents and guardians should continue to supervise them to ensure that their learning experience becomes richer.
Kay Calpo Lugtu is the chief operating officer of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and culture transformation firm. Her advocacies include nation-building, sustainability education and financial literacy. The author may be reached at email@example.com.