Addressing the challenges of home-schooling

Students and parents have unexpectedly found themselves in the deep end of home schooling for the first time. / Net photo.

As students wait to resume studying in September, home-schooling has taken the place of the classroom. As a way of keeping up with their academics, students are obliged to study from home by making use of different media channels as well as online platforms.

Nevertheless, many students and parents have unexpectedly found themselves in the deep end of home schooling for the first time.

 

Educators believe that this form of schooling has come with a set of challenges and that there is need to work on them before they cause profound setbacks. 

 

Prince Aime Lionel Murara, the deputy national coordinator in charge of operations and partnership in Education for Nations and Humanitarian Africa (ENHA) says emphasis should be put on internet access since it is one of the most important tools required for home-schooling.

 

He observes that many students up to now still can’t afford the necessary financial resources to help them have complete access to online learning.

“This is so because most students don’t have jobs and the responsibility of this issue mostly lies in the hands of parents,” he says.

For this reason, he notes that parents should try their best in supplying their children with possible means to help them gain full access to internet.

In regards to Universities, Murara says home-schooling has presented an advantage for them such as the University of Rwanda. This he says is so, because these institutions have had the opportunity to invent various online platforms to support students with easy access to different learning materials like notes and assignments.

However, he says there are still some difficulties related to it such as login disruptions, web failures and limited information on how those platforms are used.

“This is the reason why more maintenance is critical for all those issues to get addressed,” he notes.

Time management 

Meanwhile, Aminadhad Niyonshuti, an English teacher at Appaper Complex School, Remera says on the side of the students, time management should be critical.

Since there are TV and radio programs  that were provided by the Ministry of Education, he says as learners, their responsibility is to ensure they are ready whenever such classes are aired.

“This should be mandatory to students in high school. Additionally, he notes that learners should as well set time to revise on their own, at least one hour in a day,” he says.

“Scheduling is so important in all aspects of life. This is why students should stay determined on the best technique to maximally exploit the best out of their time,” he adds.

Besides, Murara says students should be supervised to ensure ample utilisation of their study time other than be left alone to wander off to music and movie sites.

This, he says should be the role of parents whereby they should not only supervise what their children do on the internet during their study but during their free time too.

Sylvain Bizirema, a science and chemistry teacher at Ecole des Sciences St Louis de Montfort in Nyanza District calls onto learners to grasp the efficient use of the internet since its now becoming the major way for them to study.

“It has become an important part of how they learn and interact with others. Therefore they should be able to use the internet appropriately. This means they should be able to differentiate between educative sites and those that are not safe for young adults like them,” he says.

In addition to this, Bizirema encourages parents or guardians to create time and give guidance to their students.

“Learn along with your child. If you’re not familiar with how to handle some issues regarding academics, it’s better to reach out to teachers for help,” he says.

Josephine Uwamariya, a teacher and mother of three says as parents, they should as well monitor the amount of time a learner spends online. 

She goes on to explain that internet surfing can be just as time-consuming as watching TV.

“Don’t let it take over your child’s life. If possible, have them place a clock near the computer or whatever gadget they are using and keep track of how much time they use,” he says.

Also, she notes that it’s essential for both parents and teachers to help learners to locate appropriate Internet Web sites. 

“Point them in the direction of sites that can help them with homework or that relate to their interests,” she stated.

Murara supplements this aspect noting that parents should be very vigilant with internet monitoring for example, most children like downloading games and that parents should attention to this a lot.

“Some games are violent or contain sexual content that is inappropriate for young adults. Parents should make good web site choices and give their children a safe cyber space,” he says.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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