Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Supreme Counselling for Personal Development Shawn Clarke is urging parents to get themselves and their children mentally and physically prepared for full online school which starts on Monday.
Clarke said it is important that all involved find various ways to cope to overcome their respective challenges.
“It is going to be challenging for a number of students to go back to school full time 100 per cent online,” he said. “I think it would be more challenging for the first formers who just passed the Common Entrance Examination and are going into secondary schools for the first time, to have an online experience, with all the nerves and anxiety that are associated with going into a new school, meeting new friends, a new environment, a new culture.”
Clarke has suggested that parents set a school-like atmosphere for their children, by placing them in a room that is conducive for studying and away from distractions, including the television and noise pollution.
“Get your child mentally prepared. You as a parent as well need to be mentally prepared and to do that we need to accept the reality that this is what it is right now and this is what we have to work with so we have to find a way to make this work.
“Ask yourself the question, ‘what is the worse of two evils, school online or no school? Which of the two is more damaging to my child in the long run?’ And I am sure that families and parents will come up with the most appropriate answer.
“I think the parents know what that answer is. It is online school now because we cannot do any better. It is not only Barbados, I was told that Antigua and Barbuda is going back to school 100 per cent online as well. So we just have to accept that this is the new normal for now and get ourselves suited for these changing times and make the best out of the situation.”
The psychologist, who also indicated that students must be encouraged to be as interactive as possible with their teachers during the virtual classes, said they must also be disciplined, polite and behave as though they are sitting in a physical classroom.
Clarke said: “Allow your children to set a routine. Have your child get up at a particular time and prepare for school as if that child was taking up his backpack and going to catch a bus or to get in a vehicle to get a ride to school. Treat online school like school. Dress appropriately and make sure that your child is well-groomed. Make sure that your child is on his or her device before the start of school.” (AH)