The lack of an effective vaccine against the pandemic drove education to adopt a new way of learning. Although online learning is nothing new, it is the first time that the education systems will be shifting to it. Kids would be excited with the fact that they don’t have to wake up early and not go through traffic and think that they would be able to do something else like playing while having classes. Most parents are quite concerned since this is the first time that this has happened and are quite unsure how it will proceed. While it is true that this strategy is a first and is bound to have problems along the way, it is important that we don’t neglect the importance of education. Some of these pros and cons are:
- Kids are safe at home. We are more assured of our children’s’ safety when they are at home.
- Potential savings. Enrolling a student on online classes should be less than how it was before. There’s also no need to pay for a carpool.
- Availability of resources. If you think that the provided material is still lacking, the internet is easily accessible and there are a lot of resources available.
- Learn new technical skills. Kids of this generation are more technically inclined. They grew up using technology and the additional tweaks they do with online resources will help boost their skills.
- Improve critical thinking, independence and responsibility. The lack of proper supervision might not be all bad. Some kids develop independence and become more responsible.
- Develop time management skills. Kids will be more aware of how to track time and the activities they are doing. It teaches them to balance study and leisure.
- Lack of necessary interaction needed for growth. The lack of interaction may lead to kids being too shy and reserved. It will also impair their ability to make friends and make good judgement.
- Lack of physical activities. Children need to get their bodies moving so that they can improve their motor skills.
- Heavily dependent on internet connection. Although it isn’t a prevalent problem for first world countries, it is a problem for third world countries and parents who lost their jobs have problems with paying for internet subscription.
- Heavily reliant on parents. With no direct contact with teachers and the lack of proper guidance in different subjects, parents will need to be more proactive in answering questions their kids might have.
- Children of front line workers may not get the proper attention they need. Kids who have doctors, nurses, and other essential workers as parents might struggle to keep up with their lessons as some of them do sleep in the office to avoid bringing the virus to their homes.
- Kids with special needs would struggle. These children have different kinds of learning method that cannot be merely taught online. They need a specific set of learning methods that are custom tailored for each child.
There was this situation where a single parent (Father) who lost his job and was already in debt was asking if he can still avail his internet subscription even after a few delayed payments because online classes already started and his son is missing his lessons already. He felt like a big disappointment to his son because he couldn’t provide for him. There is an increase in poverty because of the pandemic and most people are having it hard right now.
Online learning for the education department is still on its infancy and there are bound to be problems, but it should not easily be seen negatively because there will be improvements. Online classes might become the way forward for education, there will always be two sides to everything and right now, during a pandemic, it’s still better to have a working education system than having it totally stopped.