Kazakh Schools Finishing First Week of Distance Learning Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
With schools closed nationwide by the order of Kazakh government amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, students have started their fourth term of the academic year by distance learning. Though they are studying from home, the amount of learning load hasn’t been reduced. The first challenge that parents and their children faced during the preparation for the final term of the school year was to figure out what the distance learning is and how does it work. Many of them didn’t have a clue of how the classes would be organized within this remote way of learning.
“Mariya Mikhailovna, I have turned the El Arna TV channel on, but I can’t see you there,” says the audio message a student sent to his teacher.
Similar messages from school students have become viral after the first day of distance learning. Despite all the difficulties that fell on the parents due to the new learning program, they stay positive and even try to make jokes about awkward situations that happen to their children while studying at home. Thus, a lot of home videos are recorded and sent to various chats to cheer up the compatriots, who are in quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the students can’t wait to go to real school and see their classmates.
“Hello. It’s me, Nurislam. I can’t wait to go back to school. I don’t want to study at home. My mom scolds me and, when we study together, her explanation of the lesson is hard to understand. I miss you. Please, stay safe and healthy…,” says the video message a student sent to his teacher.
This tearful video message instantly became viral on social media and reached the Kazakh Minister of Education and Science Askhat Aimagambetov. The minister said that the video touched his heart and asked Nurislam to listen to his mother.
Kazakh students watch lessons on El Arna and Balapan TV Channels. When the lessons are over, they contact their teachers to ask questions and receive homework. Many internet users were curious whether the physical education classes will be included in the distance learning curriculum. A lot of memes have been made on this topic and posted on social media.
However, according to the physical education teachers interviewed, they work in the similar regime. In the morning they give a to-do list of exercises to their students. After that, the students record how they are doing the assigned physical exercises on the video and send it to the teacher for feedback.
People also record popular videos to share their life hacks that make distance learning easier. In addition, some internet users record ways to creatively avoid distance learning. But it’s all just harmless jokes.
In fact, teachers say that the first week of distance learning is going pretty well in Kazakhstan. Even though in the beginning they experienced some system failures on the online platforms, this problem is now resolved. Parents thank teachers for their hard work. Some students have launched a social media flash mob to express gratitude to school teachers. Currently, more than three million Kazakh students are studying at home as part of the distance learning program launched in the country.