Younger pupils may need additional help when distance learning

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Distance learning. Source: Jagrit Parajuli/Pixabay

Elementary school children had their last day of contact learning on Wednesday for at least a month, as all children move to online learning on Thursday. But smaller children may need more help over the next month, ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported.

Berit, a mother of twin boys in elementary school, told ERR that she greeted the news of all children moving to online learning with a sigh.

"How to do it so that everyone can do their work at the same time? Because I am a teacher myself, I have to teach myself. And I have three children, which means everyone has to go to an online class," she said.

Problems include how to deal with a patchy internet connection and stopping children from distracting one another from their classes.

"I have a four-room apartment, there is now someone in each room. The older boy is in his room, one is in the living room, the smaller one is in his room and then the mother is sitting in her bedroom. If there were more children, I would probably have to sit in the bathroom," she said.

Additionally, if a school has lent a computer to a child then a small child may not have the digital competence to know how to use it by themselves.

Liis-Marii Roosnupp, a first-grade teacher at Tartu Forselius School, told ERR on Wednesday that if children cannot use a computer properly, they will need the support of their parents.

"I offer opportunities to practice in the evenings, for example, so in the evenings parents can practice with a child that then the child is more confident in the morning," she said.

She said it is harder for children who cannot keep their attention focused on the class and while in the classroom it easier for a teacher to draw a pupil's attention to them, this is much harder online.

However, the children told AK are excited about studying at home, because they can also play during breaks.

New rules to control the spread of coronavirus moved all children and students to distance learning between March 11 and April 11. Parents are also recommended to not send their children to kindergarten.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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