Another semester taught by YouTube?CHUN IN-SUNG
The author is the head of the social planning teamof the Joongang Ilbo.
“This is not remote learning. Are you going to neglect children down the road?” read a petition posted to the Blue House’s website. Claiming that she was a working mom with a third-grade child, the petitioner said, “Public education, schools and teachers have abandoned children.” In four days, 20,000 people signed in support.
She called the current remote learning system “YouTube self-learning,” in which students are only offered video links. A “class” should be a video program in which a teacher calls attendance and instructs activities, but this was not the case for her child’s class. I agree with her 100 percent. My elementary school daughter is just repeating the “self-learning” assignment of watching a video her teacher chose for ten minutes per period in the second semester. She has never seen the face of the teacher, heard the teacher’s voice or gotten any feedback.
So I have to support the petition that urges teachers to look at their students and call on them for at least for one hour a day. It will motivate children confined in their rooms.
The petition writer also continued, “Teachers may not have been prepared in the first semester. But not much has changed in the second semester.” She’s right again. Teachers didn’t have time to prepare initially. The network was down often, and not all students had digital devices.
But now, those problems have been fixed. As the Ministry of Education explained, teachers also have been trained. Then why are there so few good examples in interactive learning? The petitioner condemned the new reality of public education. She claimed that private schools have live classes every day and distribute feedback on homework, and that after-school prep schools also offer video programs. Then, why can’t the same be available in public education, she wondered.
Criticizing the teachers, she was curious about elementary school teachers’ routines. She wondered whether they want to know if children in the class were healthy, and whether they were too busy to provide feedback. She seems to be representing parents who don’t want to be rude. University and private school sources I spoke with did not mention infrastructure or devices as the key to success in interactive education. Instead, they talked about passion and efforts of the teachers.
How would the Blue House respond if the petition gets more than 200,000 signatures? As the petitioner worried, will the presidential office give just an unsubstantial answer that it will work harder and be more thorough? Or will it make serous efforts to rebuild remote learning for public schools? I clicked “support the petition” today.