COVID-19: Close down of schools | 23 March 2020
How are the children coping at home?
Since Monday March 16 pupils and students from public and private schools on Mahé are home. This is not vacation time for them and now more than ever, parents have the prime responsibility to make sure their children are studying and try to stay put. Seychelles NATION asked the views of some parents to see how they are coping.
Lydie Morel: “It’s not easy to home school the kids. At home they have too many distractions eg. TV, games, other kids around. But I try to set a specific time for lessons and other activities. The little ones tend to think that they are on holiday, but nevertheless they do abide by the new home school time table. And game times are their rewards. In the long run this could be a good thing to us parents. Even after this chaos we can still continue with this and hence better contribute to our kid's education.”
Christopher Lespoir: “With the closure of schools due to the COVID-19, this has caused notable changes in the routine of my kids as they now have to remain at home for two weeks. But when it comes to their school work, this has not brought about much change except that now they have to work at home instead of at school, and they are now being schooled by their parents instead of their teachers at school.
“As an advantage, they have been given school work to complete at home. This has not changed much for them because even when they were still at school, they were being additionally educated at home. We are fortunate as my wife's profession as a teacher comes in handy. Even though they were in school, they were being given extra lessons at home, so now the routine is just second nature.
The typical day will start around 9am at home ending 3pm, where they will be given preset tasks from school to complete initially. They still get to have a snack break and lunch break just as they would at school, which is then complemented by other exercises in various subjects, of which a number of resources are sought from online. Similar to school they do have their leisure time and rest time.
All this is possible through strict discipline instilled in them from a very young age. All this has now become a normal routine whereby we as parents who are still working need not waste time trying to drill into them the importance of seeking an education.
“During their time at home we are also taking this opportunity to expose them further to some civic duties they are used to follow during school days such as cleaning, participation in cooking and spending time outside, gardening, running around like any other kids are meant to be doing. Again all this within the bounds and norms of us as parents guiding them!
“As much as this virus has become an inconvenience, we feel it brings along with it opportunities. Education wise this will push us to be more innovative in the way we approach education, but at the same time it will bring with it the much needed participation of parents in the education of their children. No matter what the circumstance, all forms of education should be instilled at this time to ensure that our kids can handle whatever their future holds. Discipline is key!
Patsy Athanase: “I have two children at home – 12-year-old Emma Athanase (5ème) who is doing CNED this year. Basically she has been given school work via the pronote platform (interactive online platform between parents/students and school) and she is doing the work daily, in the morning mostly. Afternoon is spent in front of the TV or book. She does not like the outdoors per se so doesn’t mind staying at home.
‘I do not mind the school work but misses my friends,’ noted Emma.
“For Adrian Edmond, he is going to be thirteen on March 25. He is spending the day at my place. He has been given some lessons as well including a waterfall sculpture for geography.
‘It’s good that we get to stay home so as to control the spread of the virus. I’m keeping busy. Watching some TV and reading also,” said Adrian.
Julie Florentine: “I am encouraging them to study and do lessons in activity books which they already have. A bit challenging when it comes to the eldest ones, but my younger seems okay with studying at home. Since I’m also at home I’m trying to monitor them and ensure that they do use this time wisely. Something I’ve also noticed is that for some subjects the lessons lack content. I mean they are home for two weeks and they should be kept busy throughout the day. It would have been good for teachers to give them some research to better promote independent study. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Education has provided additional materials through their website.
Compiled by Vidya Gappy