Online school must be parents' responsibility too!

Online school must be parents' responsibility too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

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Dear Editor,

The idea of online school can be quite abysmal to some parents. They are somehow uninvited by this 'new norm', not realising how to monitor their expectations and manage the realities with the complexity of this online dilemma. But can we really blame parents for this big transition?

I believe some parents were expecting a 'crisp' reopening of face-to-face school this October or, perhaps, some of them just felt like this idea of learning online meant an extended holiday for their children, completely forgetting that they also have an equal role to play in this word call education.

I was particularly taken aback by raving comments and posts on social media with parents charting this “new quest” of schooling. Some parents who have to monitor children with assignments over the phone find it completely hard because, either they have to use their phones to listen to the next game draw or lotto draw, or simply prioritising their children's education over a next possible exciting gossip.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think parents should have leisure time, but something like education should not be secondary. It is then saying that even before COVID-19 education for some parents was not something they were keen on for their children's development.

I am exploring this perspective not as a way of bashing parents — and, yes, there are other issues such as data and Internet connectivity that need to be distributed across the country equally and equitably, especially for rural and grass-roots communities — but I would love that we start the approach right by allowing parents to recognise that this norm is new for everyone, and prioritising data for lotto draw, instead of educating your toddler, should not be the only incentive.

If we at least get the perspective right with the correct attitudes, then I'm hopeful that that would be the start of education with parental and personal responsibility.

Equality Youth Jamaica


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