The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of our education systems in history. Globally, it has affected nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries. Singapore’s educational institutions, from pre-school through to universities, have also experienced sudden and unprecedented disruption.
While the educational community has made concerted efforts to maintain learning continuity, the pandemic exposes many inadequacies and inequities in our education systems. But it has also presented us with opportunities to reimagine how, and what, education and skills are delivered to prepare our children for a rapidly changing world.
A. Blended Learning – A Mix of the New and the Current
The current mode of contact education allows our schools to easily maintain a fluid and solid learning process but they are less productive due to its need for scheduled time and exclusive access to physical facilities and locations. Online courses are more flexible and less expensive, but they are less effective in learning situations when hands-on experiential learning is required. Both pedagogical approaches seem to be diametric opposites.
Rise of new modes of learning
Welcome to the mixed or “hybrid” model of blended learning, where our children have to adjust to switching from in-person classroom-based learning to online learning and vice-versa. Pre-Covid, students were already being exposed to diversified ways of learning – from online submissions of homework and assignments to using computer technology to maximise learning. Students in Singapore had Home-Based Learning (HBL) scheduled in their academic year, albeit in limited numbers.
Moving forward, the integration of these two modes of learning will likely be the new norm of learning in a COVID19 world. We will have to recalibrate, adapt and learn to switch quickly between the two.
B. Focus on Physical, Emotional & Mental Well-being
The increased need for hygiene requires students to adopt changes to their school routines e.g.temperature checks, contact tracing systems, sanitisation and social distancing. Fortunately, these changes are easily adopted and adapted to.
Coping with new stressors
However, it is harder to cope with the mental and emotional stresses that arise from the process of adapting to these changes. Our children face different forms of anxiety and mental/emotional issues – being away from their social circles, the lack of supervision, a poor study environment in the home. All these affect their emotional health negatively.
It is important parents recognise these stressors and help their children cope emotionally. They can have informal chats or catch-ups, and familial interactions. Parents can even attend online workshops on how to cope with a work-from-home model and work-life balance. Parents who can manage their own stress and adapt to their changing work landscape are more likely to be able to help their child cope better too.
C. Becoming Comfortable with Technology
As learning in a COVID19 world shifts, every household potentially becomes a classroom. The world starts to utilise technology to support continuous learning. Whether it is radio, TV, mobile, or online platforms, parents will need to adapt. They will need to be creative to keep their children engaged.
Learning is not a spectator sport
The Internet is a vast and convenient electronic library of information – much is accessible through the click of a mouse. Parents will have to explore the different online teaching tools available. They should familiarise themselves with the new modes of learning that their child has access to. Doing so also allows parents to understand what their child is easily distracted by.
The Elucidation Learning advantage
At Elucidation Learning, our learners are like children of our own. We balance academic rigour with mentorship. Our educators model adaptability and resilience even as they combine high-tech and low-tech approaches to better deliver curriculum lessons tailored to meet the academic needs of your child.
For a free assessment of your child’s work, make an appointment with us. You can drop in at any of our centre locations and speak to us. Call us at +65.6464-0323 or Whatsapp us at +65.9738-8529. Find out how Elucidation Learning can guide and help your child as we navigate the new education landscape together with parents.