Feature

Five-Year-Old Connecting On Zoom In Pre-School Learning, Here’s How Parents Are Coping With The ‘New Normal’ At Home

It may be a new form of learning in Fiji, but in developed countries, homeschooling is common.
23 Apr 2020 10:21
Five-Year-Old Connecting On Zoom In Pre-School Learning, Here’s How Parents Are Coping With The ‘New Normal’ At Home
Samuela Tora using Zoom for daily lessons and classroom sessions from home during this COVID-19 pandemic.

It may be a new form of learning in Fiji, but in developed countries, homeschooling is common.

Here’s an insight into how some of the parents are coping with the new learning system which the World Health Organisation regional director Western Pacific Dr Takeshi Kasai rightly pointed out, will be the new normal.

Zoom learning

Parent Jim Tora said: “We have to embrace the positive power of technologies and innovation to improve educational opportunities for our children at a time like this.

“My five-year-old son Samuela is in kindergarten and this week, his school, Kids First in Suva, have started using Zoom for daily lessons and classroom sessions,” said the technology consultant who is working from home.

“After weeks at home isolated with his family, Samuela has been able to connect online with his friends and his teachers, which has been very refreshing for him.

“While technology is a great tool for learning and familiarity with online platforms is a critical skill for the future, time online needs to be balanced with an active lifestyle, time outside in nature, and interacting with people face-to-face.

“Parents need to be careful about relying too much on their smart devices to distract the kids at home. I speak from experience when I say this is easier said than done.”

Wearing school uniforms

Elizabeth Qaqaturaga 10, a year 5 students at CMF primary school and with her cousin sister, Meresaini Serau 18, a year 13 student at Nasinu Secondary School doing home study in their school uniform and following school timetable at home on April 22, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Elizabeth Qaqaturaga 10, a year 5 students at CMF primary school and with her cousin sister, Meresaini Serau 18, a year 13 student at Nasinu Secondary School doing home study in their school uniform and following school timetable at home on April 22, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

It was a unique scene at Manu’hapai Qaqaturaga’s home.

Her daughter Elizabeth Qaqaturaga and niece, Mereseini Serau are observing this routine during weekdays:

  • 8 am dressed in school uniform and ready for lessons until 10 am
  • Break 15 minutes
  • The second lesson from 10:15 am to 12 pm
  • Break for an hour
  • The third lesson from 1 pm to 3 pm

Mrs Qaqaturaga said: “We made them wear their uniform so they have the understanding that they are in school and they must do everything they had done in school.”

The girls do activities from the Ministry of Education’s website and at the end of the day it is marked by her.

She added that after school they tend to their family backyard garden where they have begun planting vegetables for their own consumption.

90 minutes of school work

Ravishek Ram of Wailea Settlement in Vatuwaqa said it was a challenge trying to ensure that his young niece and nephew kept up with their school work at home.

He said in a day, they were only able to spend one-and-a-half hours in their studies before they are tempted to do other things in the house.

“We are trying to do our best but we only hope everything returns to normal soon.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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