Wed | Oct 28, 2020

Letter of the Day | Online schooling is parents’ responsibility, too

Published:Friday | October 16, 2020 | 12:08 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

The idea of online schooling can be quite abysmal to some parents. They are somehow not prepared for this ‘new norm’, not understanding how to monitor their expectations and managing the realities with the complexity of this online dilemma, but can we really blame parents for this big transition? Some parents were expecting a ‘crisp’ reopening of face-to-face schooling this October, or perhaps some of them just felt like this idea of learning online meant extended holiday for their children; completely forgetting that they also have an equal role to play in their education’.

We are particularly taken aback by raving comments and posts on social media with parents chartering this ‘new quest’ of schooling. Some parents who have to monitor toddlers with assignments over the phone find it completely hard, because either they have to use their phones to catch up with social media posts or other things.

Parents should have leisure time, but something like education should not be secondary. It is also said that even before COVID-19, education for some parents was not something they were keen on for their children’s development.

This letter does not intend to bash parents, and yes, there are other issues such as data and Internet connectivity that need to be distributed across the country equitably, especially for rural and grass-roots communities. We would recommend that we start the approach right by allowing parents to recognise that this ‘normal’ is new for everyone, and prioritising how you use data, which should be used mainly for the schooling of your children. If we at least get some priorities right, and with the correct attitudes, we are hopeful that we would be able to make online education more accessible.

EQUALITY YOUTH JAMAICA