Advaitam Child Enrichment Centre provides the best in class learning ecosystem to help your child realize their full potential in academics and extra curricular activities. Our award winning enrichment programs are available on weekdays (after school) and weekends throughout the year.
Are children in India ready for online schooling in 2020?
Over the last few weeks of lockdown, I have been getting
calls and messages from parents asking if we offered any online courses. Many
of my friends and people from my network have been puzzled on why we
(www.advaitam.in) were not offering any online courses. Zoom was in fashion,
everyone was taking online classes on Zoom, skype, etc. I was surprised and
amazed (even) to read that schools were encouraged to start taking classes
online. After a couple of weeks of online classes by the school, I am now getting
calls from parents to check if we will be able to provide one-to-one in-person
class for their children since they are now finding the online class
ineffective and basically not helping at all. One of the parent went on to
state that it was a complete waste of time! The age of the children ranged
between nursery to 8th grade.
The other day, I was on, yes, zoom app in a group video
chat of around 15 friends. People were logging in and out all the time. I could
not hear 50% of the conversation most of the time. Further, I was getting
distracted by the things happening in the background of some of the
participants. Maybe it was just me or maybe others were too. The point here is
I was having a very casual conversation with friends, at the end of the chat I
was not sure who spoke what. But I was under no pressure to remember, take notes
or understand every bit of conversation. Mind you, we were on the best network
bandwidth available using high performance mobile devices and the most
important factor being, we were all adults with tons of experience talking on
video chats for official work.
Coming back to how we work at Advaitam, all our programs
are conducted in-person and most of the time in small groups of around 6
children. The reason is simple, we need to guarantee that the children learn
whatever they have come for. These children go to top schools with the best
teachers and infrastructure. However, they do not learn fully in a classroom
size of around 25 to 40 with two teachers. Parents find out that the children
are "lagging" during PTM and they are asked to do something to bring
them up to grade level. This is where Advaitam comes in. We are, if I may, the
last line of support for the parents. We have our work cut out. The age of the
children generally ranges from 3 to 10 years. Our approach includes very
personalised strategies as per each and every child. We are able to teach these
kids in matter of few months what they could not learn in two years of school.
Now let's consider the current scenario at school,
children are learning in a group environment on a video chat. The question is
how effective is this approach? Clearly the current online schooling situation
is an unplanned emergency measure. There was no time to analyze the best
options and evaluate it's pros and cons. But now it is upon us whether we like
it or not. having said that, we still need to highlight the key challenges we
discover as the children enter this new paradigm in school education. Following
is an attempt to bring out the challenges faced by children and parents:
1) Distraction: Children being very curious are
distracted by the slightest of things e.g. external sound, sight, sudden
stoppage in teaching etc. If children are getting distracted in real classrooms
with two teachers in a closed environment, not sure what type of environment is
available at home, when, the one or both parent are also working from home on
2) Ability of learning online: Every child is wired
differently. After hundreds of years of experience, we know that children learn
better when taught in person and small groups. Yes, children do watch TV and
learn things, but it is based on the child's topic of interest. They just don't
have the skills required to learn in an effective way from video chats. Online
learning is a challenge even for the tech savvy adult, then let's not fool
ourselves by watching commercials about small children learning online.
3) Need for parental involvement: Children just can't be
left alone in front of the computer. In real world scenario adult supervision
is required constantly to monitor how things are progressing. For example,
check if the network connection is working, is the voice audible, getting
doubts cleared etc. Parents need to be involved all the time and not sure how
many parents can do that on a constant basis.
4) Network infrastructure: This is least of the problems,
but none the less it has been the same for the last decade. We are still in the
quest for uninterrupted connectivity.
But what are we worried about? All this is just temporary
situation till the lockdown continues, after that we are back to normal. Well,
this is not once in a millennium scenario. There are enough chances of similar
situations occurring in future. The answer to all this is not only online
classes but also faster learning process, smaller syllabus, dynamic academic
year. With the current schooling structure, new changes are not easy to adopt.
So who is going to suffer most? It's the children.
Advaitam will continue to support the parents and do it's
bit to ensure children do not suffer or get stressed in this trying times.