Tue | Jan 25, 2022

Homeschooling or remote learning during COVID-19

Published:Saturday | March 13, 2021 | 12:14 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Through my observations I have realised that there exists a growing demand to establish home schools, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Homeschooling involves parents or guardians taking on the task of educating their children in the familiar controlled setting of the home. The home-school system allows children to work at their own pace, in which teaching and learning is facilitated by parents, family members or a trained tutor at the expense of the parent/guardian. However, according to statistics, it has been proven that remote learning is more effective than homeschooling.

In Jamaica, the maximum number for homeschooling is six students in any one setting. A special permission must be granted from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information for the home school to exceed this number. Whereas in a remote-learning environment, the number for student occupancy is unlimited, to the size of the school that is. Remote learning is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school. Students and the educator, or information source, are not physically present in a traditional classroom environment. Information is relayed through technology, such as discussion boards, video conferencing, and various online and offline platforms. This modality is facilitated in partnership with the school board, as per the approved timetable of the school. Therefore, parents interested in remote learning should make contact with their school principals.

Through remote learning, students will be educated using the blended approach, meaning teacher supervision, learning kits where necessary and computer-aided learning, which are all facilitated by the educators at the school. With homeschooling, however, these activities are undertaken at the expense of the parent or tutor recruited by the parent.

MARK-ELIE SAINT-PHAR

markeliesaintphar@gmail.com