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What Are The Challenges Of Online Classes For Kindergarten And Beyond

Covid-19 has caused destruction and devastation worldwide in ways nobody could anticipate. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020.

From that day onwards, most of the daily routines followed by people changed following the lockdowns levied on the world. The most significant change is the standstill of the economy and its consequences all over the world. But with these changes came another significant change which was in the academic lives of the children: a holistic shift to the online mode of study. For many, it was a very new thing and for some, it might not have been the case.

“Hello, am I audible?”, “Can someone unmute and answer please”? Almost every student during the ‘pandemic era’ has been asked to answer these two questions at least a dozen times a month and many of the students have replied with the most common answer “sorry, I got disconnected, I had network issues”.

A sudden shift to the digital platforms of education has led to a lot of confusion and problems among students and also teachers, but the growth that the world has seen in terms of digitization and technological development has been far more successful and rapid.  Shift to online meetings and introducing students to platforms like Google Classroom, Zoom WebEx meet, and Teams are among the most famous examples of digitization.

With a lot of advantages and disadvantages, online classes for kindergarten and beyond is comparatively more beneficial than offline education” – this continues to be a massively debatable topic.

Let’s have a look at how it affects students in general.

  • Online education saw a decrease in the attention span of the students during the classes because of a liberal and free environment for each student attending online classes in their comfort zones.
  • Lack of physical activities for students and an increase in screen time cause many issues in students’ health.
  • Lack of interest in learning. With constant distraction by the phone or notifications on the screen, students found it difficult to concentrate on the learning aspect which led to an increase in anxiety and stress among many students.
  • The feeling of exhaustion among students attending online meetings became such a widespread problem that the term ‘Zoom fatigue’ was made to specify that problem.
  • The classroom ethics and etiquette have been brutally sacrificed during the COVID-19 period with the students sleeping on beds, switching off cameras, not answering questions, and disconnecting From class without the teacher’s assent or approval.
  • Lack of attentiveness and routine has led to students not learning time management.

As we have seen, online teaching with its benefits of accessibility and flexibility also has many disadvantageous effects on students’ lives. What about the kindergarten schools? What effects does online education have on them?  On one hand, school-going students are adjusting to the online mode, on the other hand, we have preschoolers who have neither the technical knowledge nor the attention span to sit alone and learn in the comfortable environment of their homes.

Following are the reasons why online education is non-viable.

  • Preschoolers are at an age where there is maximum brain development and the learning capacity of the brain is very high. Exposing them to long durations of screen time can be detrimental to a child’s overall well-being.
  • Children tend to learn better with hands-on experiences and physical activities like playing together. This is absent in online education as it aims to provide education without any physical contact. Due to various reasons like this, online teaching has proven to be ineffective for preschoolers and does nothing to stimulate their attention.
  • Going to school, adjusting to the new environment, and making friends was different experience. The absence of this has resulted in a lack of socialism and the inability to adjust to different environments, a common problem among kindergarteners.

With the hike in the annual school fees in Ahmedabad, parents have also questioned the cost of delivering online education. Many people find it difficult to keep up with the rise in the fee structure for online classes for kindergarten nullifying the costs incurred on the snacks provided to the kindergarteners and transportation fees as now no transportation is required for online classes.

To balance out the disadvantages of online studies and continue with the educational cycle, elementary schools must start adopting the blended teaching method of both online and offline learning. By coming up with a curriculum structure that incorporates the benefits of both forms of teaching, students can enjoy the best of both worlds and get the stimulation required to learn and grasp knowledge successfully.

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