Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Two years back, a group of young parents, in one of their bonding sessions discussed options for the protection of their children from any possible form of bullying inside classrooms and within campuses. That was the time when the social media overflowed with cases of that “act of harm, intimidation or coercion” such as in the US, Canada, the Netherlands and the Philippines. One option tackled was homeschooling or home education.
In a remote interview, The Philippine Global School-Abu Dhabi principal Lizabeth Comia defined homeschooling as “the alternative set-up whereby it is the parents who educate and teach their children at home.”
With the COVID19 around, Gulf Today reached out to parents for their views.
Robert and Faith Almacen of Sharjah are considering homeschooling for their son Roby, since their preferred school, the New Filipino Private School (NFPS) “is already full” for Kindergarten 1. They are also thinking about the seriousness of the pandemic on Roby’s health: “We believe too that homeschooling would strengthen and enhance our family ties. We would be learning together.”
Benjamin and Leah May Fallorina of Sharjah perceive that the “one-size-fits-all approach” in traditional schools constricts the phases of learning of each child as each has his own unique abilities, capabilities and creativity:
“With homeschooling, we could properly phase out the learning of our three-year-old daughter. We have considered homeschooling even before the pandemic. We could personally follow and create means for her interests. Real-world learning is learning integrated to everyday life at home such as cooking, fixing things and being organised.”
Another couple in Sharjah is using the American curriculum through a Christian school for the home education of their children, ages six to 11. The husband-and-wife want their children, from their fragile years, have another strong source and support system for their spiritual growth: “The downside is that their socialization with other children are limited. They are not exposed to corrupted world views. They are learning to set their own goals. The timings and activities are flexible. There are no assignments. We are learning too as we teach and guide them. Though their progress may be delayed as well because we are not trained specialists.”
Moreover, it was learnt that the principals of the nine Philippine schools in the UAE met for the second time since late 2019-a fortnight back-with Consul General of Dubai and the Northern Emirates Paul Raymund Cortes on their concerns over the seeming proliferation of institutions across the UAE offering homeschooling and distance learning modules using Philippine Basic K-12 curriculum-as a consequence of the COVID19 pandemic.
Children enrolling in FS1 or Pre-KG in schools starting in September must be three years old on or before August 31 of that year. Children enrolling in Pre-KG in schools starting in April must be three years old on or before March 31 of that year.
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