Book distribution festival was held on the very first day of the year 2020 when 353 million free textbooks were distributed among school children. Students started their classes of their new academic year with full enthusiasm from the next day. Academic days were passing on well, along with other activities. All of a sudden, the slap of Corona hit the country along with the whole world. The first three known cases were reported on March 8, 2020, by the country's epidemiology institute, IEDCR.
Consequently, on March 16, the government decided to keep all the educational institutions closed from March 17 to 31, aiming to prevent the spread of deadly coronavirus. Later, the Education Ministry extended the time of the closure till April 9 and the extension keeps continuing over and over again becoming till October 3 the latest one.However, at present, the education sector has fallen in great danger. Thousands of pupils have been staying at home, not being able to take in-person classes. The good news is the government has arranged Television classes for the school students. Besides, some schools of urban areas have been conducting online classes\studies via different platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Google classroom and so on.
It is well-known that remote learning cannot be the alternative to an in-person class. Still, we have to continue it for the sake of the future of our young generation. Having faced various difficulties, so, remote education has been witnessing a significant challenge. Among the challenges of distant education, not having access to the internet or television are the prominent ones.
Besides, our education system is still wholly teacher-centred where teachers are actively involved in teaching while the learners are in a passive, receptive mode listening to what the teachers teach. Regarding, in teacher-centred education, the watchful eye of a teacher is needed to ensure that learners are indeed completing their task and not fooling around during class time. Unfortunately, in distance teaching-learning environment, this facility cannot be provided.
Attending in-person class is one of the best media of socialization which is absent in online classes. This deprivation is causing a danger to mental health since they are feeling one type of confinement for long days. As a result, to get rid of the monotony, they have become solely dependent on online platforms such as online games, social media etc.
The online class is disrupting a student's learning processes and in effect, slow a student's ability to absorb information from lessons. That is, children require motivation to be taught effectively. Such an environment is only possible in an in-person class, whereas this scope is not available in the online study.
Despite all these variables, we have to move forward for the better future of our young generation to build an enriched nation. In this regard, guardians should play a vital role to handle this situation which is unexpected and unprecedented. Parents should keep eyes on their children to ensure their online class. In this case, educated parents can take the responsibility of teaching their children not being entirely dependent on online class. Guardians should motivate their children to learn and make cognizant regarding the current situation in a friendly manner. Recently, the learners of the whole world have been going through a similar kind of scenario getting confined to house for an undefined period. Some countries of Europe have decided to open schools amid this pandemic ignoring the life risks of the pupils. But the positive thing is the authority in Bangladesh has taken the life risks with greater importance and decided not to open the schools until the situation comes under control.However, home-schooling is a schooling system where parents teach their children an academic curriculum at home instead of sending them out to a public or private school. This education system is quite old and famous in western countries, especially in the UK. The traditional teaching method of home-schooling can be appropriate in the context of Bangladesh. In Traditional home-schooling, parents use textbooks, workbooks, and tests to teach and keep track of their children's progress. They may have an allocated room in their home for school hours since some kids love checking off boxes and completing worksheets, and this method works well for them. So, this can be applied in the current situation to compensate for the loss of formal learning at schools.
Last but not least, after dinner, the dining table can be turned into a discussion table with the children to remove their loneliness and to strengthen family bonding. This practice will be useful in several ways in the long run. After all, we will be able to retain our customs and values.
The writer is a lecturer, Department of English, Asian University of Bangladesh, Ashulia, Dhaka