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Are Children Adapting To Online Learning

With the shift to virtual learning at home from classrooms, friends and school, how are children of different age groups adapting to the new normal. WOW finds out from the young students themselves.

Text: Pabita Dahal
Photos: Ram Tandukar/Gokul Shrees/Sabina Mainali

Rio Subba Shrestha
Age: 4

It has been one month that our online classes started, and we use the Zoom app for it. In the first three weeks, I just had to attend three classes a week but now I have to sit for five classes a week. My parents also stay with me when I am present in the online class, and teachers tell us stories and make us dance too. Yes I am learning and my parents send my class work on the Viber group for corrections. Overall these classes are boring and I am not missing school at all. I am enjoying more at home.

Sophiya Manandhar
Age: 9
Grade 5, Ideal Model School

I am studying through our school app. We didn’t have any live classes a week back but now we are having one on Zoom. Earlier teachers used to send us all types of assignments: reading, writing and listening through the school app and we used to complete our assignments accordingly within submission date. We can do some assignments online but most of them have to be written and we submit photos of them. Teachers send a maximum of five subject assignments a day. I am enjoying the classes but miss school. In school, we get a chance to ask instantly if we don’t understand anything but not now. I also need one of my parents to guide me while doing assignments. I am missing my friends the most. Talking to them and playing with them is so much fun. I am tired of staying at home and my hand hurts while completing so many assignments in a day.

Jenisha Adhikari
Age: 11
Grade 6, Wisdom English Academy

Our class started on May 3. Three subject classes are conducted in a day from 11 am to 1:15 pm via the Zoom app. Teachers have provided us schedule and they conduct classes following that. For assignments, both the teachers and students use the messenger group. I don’t find online classes that much fruitful since we cannot ask questions when required.
I miss school very much. I love being in school. We got a long holiday for the first time and it is getting boring. I enjoy more being with teachers and friends. What I miss the most about school is the playtime we get at lunch hour.

Tsubasana Manandhar
Age: 15
Grade 10, Pathshala Nepal Foundation

Our online class started three weeks back. We take classes of two subjects in a day via the Microsoft Team app. Each class lasts for one hour and we also get 45 minutes gap in between. Right now, we are studying only compulsory subjects. Teachers are teaching us based on the curriculum. They give us assignments and we get points for the assignments along with feedback.

Just like everything comes with pros and cons so do the online classes. There are some technical problems and they differ from time to time. Sometimes, the mic doesn’t function and we can’t be heard. However, I feel teachers and students are working diligently. I am enjoying my classes.

If I need to choose, I would prefer school over an online class because we can be present physically, get more opportunities, and we can discover new things.

Maybe virtual classes are not as effective as schools in the context of Nepal, but these are successfully practiced in foreign countries. I think it can be useful in our country during the time of the pandemic and as there is no chance of schools reopening anytime soon. In upcoming days it might become the formal medium for studies. In school, everyone gets equal priority but in virtual classes it feels like specific students are more in focus. We need to acknowledge that not every student’s capacity for learning is the same. Some may be brilliant but some may take more time to learn. This needs to be addressed.

Ayush Adhikari
Age: 11
Grade 6, Ripumardini Sainik Secondary School

Our online classes started on April 20. Two periods are being conducted per day via Viber from 1:20 to 2:40 pm. We haven’t got an exact routine and teachers teach us their convenient subjects. But the classes are effective and interactive. The only problem is we cannot discuss in groups due to time limitation and sometimes weak internet connection. The assignments and submissions are done on the Viber group.
I don’t miss school so much. I am enjoying home a lot. But I would choose school over online classes because we cannot talk with friends and have group discussions.

Liza Karanjit
Age: 9
Grade 4, Gems School

I am taking online classes through the Zoom app. Three sessions are conducted in a day from 9 am to 3 pm and every session has a gap of an hour. The school has provided us daily schedules and teachers take the class accordingly. In the initial days, I found it difficult to set up the computer and called my parents to help me but now I can do it by myself. Poor net connection and the absence of electricity are hampering the online class. We learn through online games and different tests and send our assignments on Google classroom. However I would choose school over virtual classes because in school we meet friends, play and talk with them. Sharing lunch with friends and commuting on the school bus is even more fun.

Rusha Manandhar
Age: 16
Grade 10, Deerwalk Siphal Secondary School

I am preparing for the SEE exam which had been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Our class started one week after lockdown. One hour revision class has been conducted through the Google Meet app as per the routine of SEE. In every session, teachers brief about the important topics and they also solve our queries we find difficult. We can ask about our difficulties via email too. Overall, I am enjoying the online class and it is effective for us too but sometimes poor internet quality and unexpected load shedding disturbs the class.

I would prefer an online class over school since we can study from home. We are free to make our routine and revise accordingly. We are not under the teacher’s pressure. I am also glad that the examination board cancelled the SEE exam and will be publishing results as per our internal grade.