Apr 19, 2020

Distance Learning First Day Failure

Ordering the schools to suddenly restart with distance learning was irresponsible and a bad decision.
The Ministry of Education, under orders from the Ministry of Health and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), and whoever else is in charge of the Corona mess, should have instructed the schools under its authority weeks ago to prepare for distance learning, if they were not going to do it themselves knowing that this would be necessary.

All beginnings are difficult. It would be expected to encounter some difficulties with a new system. That is fine. But starting from scratch on the day that it is all supposed to happen is irresponsible. Starting from scratch all on the day it is supposed to happen means the schools have to create multiple accounts for the various classes and sessions, the teachers have to learn a new system that they are not familiar with, get it installed and working, get the links out to the students and begin. Add to that issues like in the more Haredi or Haredi Leumi schools many teachers dont know how to use computers, don't have computers, don't have smartphones, and definitely don't know how to use Zoom, and it compounds the problem.

And that is just from the school side. Then there is the parents side.

Parents, who might also be trying to work, have to get often multiple kids set up with devices that can use Zoom or whatever medium is being used, and make sure everything works. Families that have multiple school-age children with online sessions, but maybe only have one extra computer for the kids, or one extra phone - how are all the kids supposed to join the sessions, that suddenly were ordered upon them? Even if they had the money to go out and buy computers and tablets and phones, which most probably do not, just for this, that also takes time, and so many stores are nto even open or are running low on stock.

That is all besides for the issues of then getting everything to work right and the Internet being able to handle the load.

They said attendance is mandatory, and I have no idea what that means. I am happy they are trying, and I am happy it will give the kids something educational to do with part of their day, but this needed better planning. I hope it all gets figured out within a few days and we'll look back at this and laugh.

Kudos to the schools that worked in advance to get it at least partially, if not completely, prepared and ready, and kudos to all the wonderful educators for trying, but the Ministry of Education needs to do a better job.




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