Confined families and emergency reconciliation

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By Azu Vazquez, PhD of the research group Edul@b

The education system has long advocated that one of its biggest challenges is preparing students so they can find situations in unexpected problems. In an unpredictable pandemic situation, we have all had to do this learning quickly. Teachers have been subjected to a situation in which, often unprepared and without having the foundations or resources to perform a quality online teaching, they have had to implement a non-emergency face-to-face teaching. It has been more or less the same to our homes: families have been forced into emergency conciliation.

In this new situation, families have had to achieve, in many cases, three roles at the same time: that of parents, that of professionals linked to their working world and that of mediators between the school and their children. Many schools, some after a few initial days of blocking, have continued to offer educational activity – although not evaluable – through non-in-person contexts. This has caused the families to take a great task: the teachers led, they marked the way. But especially in younger children, in the Infant and Primary stages, children do not have the capacity to follow this path without a family at their side.

If, as Mandela said, education is the most powerful weapon to change the world, it is necessary to empower families to be able to respond to the new situation they face. And this empowerment will come from a double axis. On the one hand, you have to have resources (devices in good working order and with a proper connection).  On the other hand, all these devices will be useless if families do not know how to use them to encourage learning. In this context, the digital competence of families will be key, with a need being the development of plans and actions to promote their development.

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