BENGALURU: E-learning is better than no learning, was the emphasis laid by thousands of pre-school owners, parents of young children, and educators when they took to social media to participate in Tweet Storm on Sunday. This was their way to protest against what they called an “arbitrary ban” against online teaching by the government.
Held between 2pm and 6pm, #righttolearn saw more than 25,000 tweets. Entrepreneur Deepu Chandran whose son is in Class 2 is furious and disappointed with the ban. “Instead of trying to uplift children, the government is pulling every child down. Online classes are a meaningful way to keep children engaged. However, it looks like this move has been made so that the government can evade flak they would face about children who don’t have access to online education,” he says.
When schools were told not to increase the fee this year, or as uncertainty about reopening remains, Usha Iyer, director, The Green School Bangalore and The Bangalore School Whitefield, says they complied by it. "But if they insist upon no online education, many standalone pre-schools will have to close down. It has already started happening," she says, pointing out that pre-recorded classes by private tutors are being permitted.
“Why can’t there be one rule for everyone?,” she questions, adding that they are ready to help out the underprivileged. “If we are to reach the 2030 digital literacy goal, we really need to employ new methods. Talking about screen time, our classes were not over an hour long. Teachers were putting in a lot of effort to make these sessions engaging,” she says.
Going by the Twitter storm which has gathered considerable steam, Anusha Madhavan, whose daughter is a Class 3 student, is hopeful that the ban will be lifted. “There’s no way I can replicate the school experience at home. My daughter is quite attached to her friends and teachers and is eager to learn. We want to cash in on that,” says Madhavan, adding that she feels teachers are better equipped to handle questions, especially on the ongoing pandemic. “When my daughter asked about the fear of death because of COVID-19, I didn’t have a clear-cut answer. However, the math teacher was able to explain how one could stay safe through social distancing using some concepts. My daughter was more accepting of such an answer,” she says.