On April 11, Ayb School employees, students and parents held an online meeting with Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, the chairman of the parliamentary committee on education, science, culture, diaspora, youth and sports.
The participants focused on online education and the challenges it uncovered. However, to make it more constructive, Mr. Hayrapetyan offered to narrow the discussion to two main topics:
Thus, all plunged into a conversation about the urgent problems of online education, its pluses and minuses and what should be done to make it more efficient.
Large-scale online education is something that happens in our country for the first time. However, as the participants noted, it offered a number of extra opportunities for all those involved in the learning process. This trial period has grown into a priceless experience for the whole education system that will help make the organization of activities in such format several times faster in case of emergency in the future. Students, in their turn, remarked that online education offers much fewer loopholes for laziness and stokes motivational fires. In addition, it provides better time management tools and is not too tiresome. The students also said studying from home often helps feel more comfortable and relaxed. The parents appreciated the promptness to reorganize the learning process that ensured uninterrupted school studies. Conclusion: in order to fix and assess all advantages of online education, we must learn to use all the opportunities it provides.
Along with advantages and additional opportunities, online education has certain shortcomings that can eventually lead to some “failures.” The meeting participants attracted Mr. Hayrapetyan’s attention to a number of problems, such as: sitting in front of the computer for a long time strains eyes and can cause headaches, as well as may be harmful for the mental and physical health of the students. The parents suggested stepwise implementation of this program, as the majority of teachers and students have not adapted to it so far. One more argument in favor of a phased approach is that many children from needy families have either limited or no access to internet.
When talking about whether the camera should be turned on or off during online lessons, the participants said that with the camera turned off, the students can be busy with whatever they want and the teacher is deprived of the possibility to control the situation. Ayb School Principal Aram Pakhchanian, however, called on the teachers to make it optional, taking into account that many teenager students are obsessed with their appearance and may feel uncomfortable.
The interlocutors also pointed out the problems with internet connection, the habit of talking all together and other organizational problems. To conclude, they decided to thoroughly analyze every problem and promptly respond to new challenges.
“This meeting was useful and the opinions expressed gave food for reflection. Our main task is to help the government make online education maximally efficient. Please be sure that every opinion expressed by you will be discussed and conclusions made. As a result, we will get a wholesome picture that will allow us to get adequate answers to many questions and solve numerous problems. Today, we have a unique situation to make significant researches and surveys in the field of education. We need this to break out of the comfort bubble and launch educational reforms,” Hayrapetyan said, assuring of close cooperation that will lead to realization of all plans.