Experts urge return to in-person education

child in school
A student sits in a classroom (Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — As the government eyes the return of classroom learning in September, experts, parents, and teachers raise concerns regarding educational gaps created due to the lack of efficacy of online learning. اضافة اعلان

Experts speaking to Jordan News said that distance learning is a “flawed alternative” to classroom education.

Khaled Taqatqa, an educational expert at the Ministry of Education, pointed out that educational gaps could affect student’s educational progression.

"Students in general are not ready and they lack knowledge. I wonder for example how a fifth grade student would proceed to sixth grade, where educational curricula gets harder, in this current situation," said Taqatqa.

"Classroom education is much better than distance learning,” said Taqatqa. “Students receive education and knowledge more efficiently when in the classroom, they work hard and interact with their classmates and teachers. In-person education gives students a feeling of commitment.

"Despite all this, I would say again that we do not have another choice. The pandemic brought us to this point; it is no one's fault,” he said. "Distance learning is better than no learning at all. It is used to fill the growing educational requirements created due to the pandemic."

Taqatqa added that "parents take a major role in this. They have to be responsible and help their children get the right and enough knowledge and education. Parents should let their children think and depend on themselves. They should not solve their homework, because if they do so we will not be able to for evaluate students’ progress.”

Likewise, Hala Mohammad, a third grade teacher, told Jordan News that "I believe that some parents are careless and irresponsible. They do not give their children the care and attention they need.

"Parents should be taking the teachers' roles. Teachers help students in school and interact with them, and parents should do the same thing in their homes,” Mohammad said, adding that parents and teachers need to work together to ensure students get the “education they need”.

"I cannot say that distance learning is bad," she said. "It could be great if students and their parents work together with teachers to achieve the desired goal."

The national Back to School campaign has submitted a letter to Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh calling for a clear plan to return to in-person education as soon as possible. The campaign warned of the negative repercussions of online education.

From his part, Abdel Hameed Khazaleh an educational expert, highlighted some of the benefits of online learning. He believes that online education gives children more room to play and socialize.

Khazaleh told Jordan News that "from my own experience, not only as an educational expert but as a father too, distance learning is even better than classroom education, where students are committed to specific learning hours. They cannot skip them or spend some time to play with their friends or talk to them."

Khazaleh explained that "I want my children to have friends and engage with them but at the same time education is a priority for me. Nowadays, during distance learning, my children are in my sight. I monitor how they study and pay attention for them."

Ahmad Hassan, a seventh grade student, told Jordan News that "outstanding students do not care whether they get in-person or distance learning. They only do what they are required to do despite the conditions or the place."

Hassan added that "I and a group of my friends are having distance learning and that has not affected our studies. We are doing our homework and studying for our exams just as we used to do in schools — nothing is different."

"I advise students all over Jordan to study hard despite all the conditions they go through. In the end, we cannot guarantee that life goes smoothly, without ups and downs, our whole lives,” he said.

Read more national news