Teaching from Home: Towards a new era for education 3/3
The teaching from home blog series consists of experiences and narratives we have gathered from teachers, parents, and students during calls with more than 2500 schools across LATAM during COVID-19. The series is conceptualized and disseminated by Juan Carlos Soriano, COO of CanopyLAB LATAM.
More than 70 days have passed since COVID-19 and Peru remains under a strict lockdown as the country struggles to flatten the infection curve. It is now clear that there is no going back to school this year for 6-year-old Marco As a result, Gaby, Marco’s mom, has put her plans to pursue a master degree on hold and is devoted full time to guide Marco through remote learning. “I feel like I dodged a bullet quitting my teaching job back in December” she confesses.
Teachers vs. parents
Because Gaby just quit teaching, she is very aware that Miss Jenny, Marco’s teachers, faces a lot of criticism for the quality of the remote teaching experiences Marco’s school offers. “I have become a fierce defender of teachers in the WhatsApp and Facebook groups we have for parents” she explains. The family is grateful that Marco’s father is still employed albeit on a temporary reduced salary and they feel fortunate that they have the means to get by while so many others suffer.
Is the future of education remote?
There is no doubt in Miss Jenny’s mind that virtual learning is the future of education. She grew up before the Internet era but embraced technology when she was at university and similarly feels ready to embrace this new era of virtual learning. “In the little free time I have, I am actively searching for courses to develop my online teaching skills” she shares and continues. “If there is something this situation has already taught us, it is that we will expand our view of education and expand what is possible about remote teaching. This is a new opportunity”.
“I see many challenges. Developing a virtual learning methodology and pedagogy for younger students is very difficult and schools are not ready to deliver sound virtual education”.
But Miss Jenny is not naive. “I see many challenges. Developing a virtual learning methodology and pedagogy for younger students is very difficult and schools are not ready to deliver sound virtual education”.
Miss Jenny hopes that her government is ready to embrace learning technology, and that the education sector will use the crisis to shape the new future of learning for Peru. This will only be possible if the government continues to Improve Internet connectivity and access . Students need computers or tablets and courses to prepare students and to learn and teach in the digital world.
- We have to find an effective way to deal with tensions among parents and teachers.
- In Latin America alone, 95% of students have been affected by the closure of schools due to COVID-19.
- In Peru, despite government efforts to provide a national virtual learning strategy, COVID-19 threatens to widen the inequality gap that already exists and increase dropout rates. This is particularly true in rural areas.