Children in Georgia share their thoughts on remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic
Girls and boys learn to adjust to school being closed
Anastasia Kurdgelia, 13 years old, Tbilisi, Georgia
During these hard times that the world is experiencing, it is easy to panic and get upset. Especially during the quarantine, when you feel isolated and very lonely. It may seem that your previous life would never return. Those negative thoughts and feelings can really get to you sometimes. I don’t know about you, but they certainly come to me.
I am a bit worried about the new ways of teaching that the government considered necessary for social distancing. Adjusting to a new routine is hard. I try to make my own schedule in order to stay productive.
In this situation, the hardest thing for me is missing my friends, whom I have not seen for a long time. Probably many children are experiencing this feeling now. Something that helps me is contacting them online.
I would advise my peers to remember that this situation is temporary; talk to your friends online to entertain yourself and to keep up with them; and, most importantly, try to stay away from too much information, because It will just make you even more worried.
Giorgi Shengelia, 13 years old, Tbilisi, Georgia
When the coronavirus spread, I wasn’t worried at all. On the opposite, I wanted it to go on so that we would have longer holidays. I didn’t realize that everything would be closed because of coronavirus and the holidays wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as I expected.
The first week was fun, not many things were closed, and Tbilisi wasn’t sad and empty. But after a couple of days the virus spread to more people and everything got closed, so just sitting at home was getting boring. Usually I can be entertained really simply - just give me a phone or a laptop and yeah that's pretty much it, I’ll sit by myself and play games. But my mom and grandma don’t really like that, they want me to be healthy so sitting all day playing video games isn’t an option.
So I found other ways to entertain myself. First, reading: I’ve always loved reading and I do read now as well, but I’m running out of books and the bookstores are closed. Second, I really enjoy cooking, it’s just so satisfying when you have everything organized and ready to go and then you make just the perfect dish. But when I cook things don't usually go that way - and there’s total chaos in the kitchen. Third, I learn some new random things, I learned how to make a Facebook professional page and a Wix page for my grandma’s paintings and I learn random and handy stuff like that every day. Sometimes I also go on a little walk and I enjoy it a little bit. So that was the list of things I do during the corona holidays.
Mariam Markariani, 6 years old, Tbilisi, Georgia
I like online lessons, because I am constantly at home and do not have to wait for the parents to come and pick me up after classes.
During the breaks I am at home and can do whatever I want to entertain myself.
Andria Samadashvili, 10 years old, Tbilisi, Georgia
Since we moved to distance learning, most of all I'm glad that schooling hasn't stopped altogether and that in the future we will not have to learn the whole programme at once.
So far, lessons don't go as well as they once did in class. We often don't hear each other's voices. So when I ask a question, the teacher answers something different and I get nervous.
The worst thing is that we have to study for four hours without breaks. After this I get headaches, but the teacher promises that this shortfall will be corrected. As for preparing home tasks, nothing has changed.
Elene Melikadze, 11 years old, Tbilisi, Georgia
Online learning is more exotic than going to school. I like it, but it has some drawbacks. Some are serious, others are not.
Sitting at home is fun, but to be honest, it is much more tiring to sit and study at the computer all day long. Many children get pains in the eyes, so there should be a longer break after two lessons. Often, we don't even understand the teacher because of the Internet problems. Sometimes the sound goes off.
It is nice to be at home because during breaks you can do certain things that cannot be done in school. If a child is restless, he/she can play instead of learning and the teacher cannot notice that because he/she can only see the child’s face.
But it is still better to go to school.
Nikoloz Beridze, 13 years old, Tbilisi, Georgia
When I found out about coronavirus, I didn’t think it was a problem and I hoped it would go away in a week or two. But at that time only 20,000 cases worldwide were confirmed and most of the media were not very serious about it and neither was I. One day, my biology teacher told me that the virus goes from one to four people and that’s why it was spreading so fast. After a month, one case was confirmed in Georgia and at the time I already realized that it was scary, and we needed to take immediate action.
Schools closed the very next day after it was confirmed. Now my routine looks like this: wake up, eat, walk the dog, study, play video games for an hour, eat again, play drums, watch a TV show, do more homework, eat, play board games and sleep. It gets boring sometimes and even my cousins can’t come because of quarantine. I really hope they will find a cure for this virus fast so we can get back to normal life again. I also hope that they count this online schooling as schooling, so we won’t need to repeat the 7th grade again. 12 years of school is already too much, but 13 years would be worse. But we should all remember that this is only temporary, and we should not panic.
Niko Grigolia, 10 years old, Tbilisi, Georgia
The idea of studying at home is good, because we still need to learn, but I don't like it so much. It's difficult to figure out which webpages I need to access, what they write to me, and what I have to do. It is difficult because we are all learning to work in such an environment now, both teachers and students. Another difficulty is that we need computers, headphones, and microphones.
Laluka Gigilashvili, 16 years old, Tbilisi, Georgia
The lessons start at 11am, the earliest. The time is very convenient because I can get enough sleep and prepare for the lessons properly. The lessons are taking place as usual and it is very convenient. I am at home and have everything at hand; I can listen to lessons in my room all day long. I just miss school because of friends. It is sometimes boring to sit at home, but we have to cope with this for the sake of safety.