Two schools on the city’s northern outskirts have been training parents on the basics of technology so that they can help their children with online learning.
St Augustine’s Day School, which has branches in Barrackpore and Shyamnagar, have been explaining to parents the know-how of online classes, how to enter a class when a teacher shares a link or how to scan and upload assignments.
The training programme is for parents whose children are in nursery and from classes I-VI. The school authorities realised that beyond that age students are “savvy enough online” and can handle online classes and assignments by themselves.
Parents who want some help are coming to school for the sessions with the teachers because the school realised there were some parents who were struggling and that they required help.
“While children were attending classes a lot of queries came from parents who sat with them. There are things they were unable to do online and needed help; so, we realised we should guide them,” Janet Gasper Chowdhury, the president of St Augustine’s Education Society, which runs the two schools, said. “It’s not that everybody has issues with technology but a large section does.”
The Barrackpore school has a strength of 2,800 and the Shyamnagar one 1,500 up to Class VI.
The sessions will be for an hour or two depending on the requirement and though it is open to both parents the school has noticed either the father or the mother has been opting for it.
Schoolteachers, whether in the city or outside, have switched to the online mode of teaching during the pandemic. But it is also a challenge for parents to guide their children with the devices and how they are used when they themselves might not be comfortable with them.
“I went to school yesterday and cleared my doubts about uploading assignments on the online platform. In fact, I was facing problems with links and once we got disconnected we were finding it difficult to rejoin,” Avijit Dey whose son is in the Shyamnagar school said on Thursday.
Many parents said it was easier and comfortable to seek clarification from teachers in person rather than ask them during online classes.
The pandemic and the subsequent online classes have been an eye-opener for both parents and schools when it came to handling smart devices.
“It was a shock… we noticed many parents did not have smartphones and many were not savvy with their usage and applications apart from making phone calls,” Gasper Chowdhury said.
On many occasions, the children who are adept at it will not help their parents because they are apprehensive that they will join social media platforms that children frequent.
For the pre-primary, the school has been training parents on how they should teach their kids at home.
“We train them in the Montessori method of teaching. We don’t want the child to get another set of instructions at home,” Gasper Chowdhury said.