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Aug 27, 2020

Distance Learning – Start by Setting Up a Learning Space for Your Child

Students have been out of the classrooms for about five months since the COVID-19 pandemic began destroying all sectors of society.  The Ministry of Education has announced that preschools and primary schools reopen on September seventh and on October fifth for secondary schools. The ministry has declared that students will not report to the classrooms since it is not safe for face-to-face learning, given the continued increase of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country.  Instead, distance learning will be implemented, which means that students will be learning from home using M.O.E. approved home-based learning packages and workbooks.  But learning from home is not an easy task for both the student and parent.  It is a complete change to what a student is normally used to and as such, will require more focus and commitment. In today’s Ask the Experts session, Chief Education Officer Doctor Carol Babb appeared with Deputy Chief Education Officer Cecilia Smith to discuss what should start to happen when schools reopen. The first thing that a parent should do is set up a learning space for their child.



Carol Babb

Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer

“We would want parents to designate an area, a learning space and we want them to prepare it and have a desk or if not a desk any place that the child can work in quiet with very little distraction. S you prepare the room or space please do it with the involvement of your child or your children so that they feel involve and they can own it and then they can participate. What about routines Mrs. Smith? Do you think children need routines now more than ever since they are going to be at home?”


Cecilia Smith

Cecilia Smith, Deputy Chief Education Officer

“Certainly when children are in school they are general accustomed to a particular schedule for their class. So they get in at a certain point in the class and then they do a certain activity and then they go into the fist subject and then the next subject and so on. So there is a schedule and children generally understand what it is they are going to do on Monday and Tuesday and so on. So in this instance where they are going to be learning at home the same sort of thing has to happen. It does not have to replicate the exact schedule that it is at school but the matter of a schedule, a routine that they understand it helps them into a routine that would be good for them in term of the expectation for what it is that they need to help each day.”


 Dr. Carol Babb

“For example we would also advice parents to develop a time table or a plan of action along with your student. Anything you do, do it with their involvement so that they feel included and they will own it and participate more.  Depending on the age of your child, if your child is five or younger or a little bit older, their classes should not exceed about twenty to twenty give minutes, if they are a little bit older they can go a bit longer. But whatever you do or whatever structure you create, involve you child and ensure that they get breaks. Please don’t have them sitting down all morning or all afternoon. They must get breaks. Encourage them to walk, do some exercises, and share what the expectations are so they know fully in advance.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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