British Virgin Islands

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Blended learning. Teacher. Camera. Classroom.

Educators speak! Uninvolved parents, bad internet hurting hybrid learning

When it comes to the current blended learning system which merges online with face-to-face learning, poor internet connection and a lack of parental involvement are the main issues challenging the system.

This is the view held by a few educators who spoke to the BVI News about their experience with the new hybrid model implemented in schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The teachers who spoke to our news centre on anonymity said, for the most part, students and teachers already have the devices and many other necessary tools needed to conduct remote learning.

Poor internet

But they said the main issue hindering academic progress of the territory’s youngsters is internet connectivity.

“Poor internet connection is the biggest issue,” said one senior educator at the secondary level.

The government had announced that in 2021, it would be clamping down on internet service providers for improved internet service — a resource which is now like a basic need across the world.

But the problem still persists.

Lack of parental participation

In addition to connectivity issues, the teachers bemoaned the lack of parental involvement in their children’s education. However, one teacher was quick to point out that some parents were delinquent even before remote learning was incorporated into the system.

“The current model is working for those students whose parents make the extra effort to ensure that their children stay on top of things. Just like with face-to-face, you have those parents who monitor their children and ensure that they keep in touch with the teachers. They see education as a partnership,” the educator said.

Although some teachers see no problem with the hybrid system, one educator believes less face-to-face learning will negatively affect this generation of learners.

“The new system adversely affects their holistic development. Also, [many] are at home without proper adult supervision. Parents need to be more involved,” the educator said.

Some parents across the territory have hinted that they are struggling with balancing work and homeschooling. However, It is believed face-to-face interactions will increase with an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the willingness to be inoculated by many within the community.


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