Based on a new survey during which teachers, parents, and Roma community leaders were asked, there are many places in Hungary where teachers lost touch with families. Therefore, nobody can tell whether the students in those families can ever catch up with the others.
According to 24, there are some places where families got help in the form of tablets or Internet subscription, and local families formed groups to help their children. However, Erzsébet Nagy, a co-worker of Partners Hungary, added that where there is no Internet connection, students do not take part in digital education, and this is why there are many places where
the number of students waiting to resit exams increased significantly.
Based on a survey they conducted with the Motiváció Műhely and the Rosa Parks Foundation, even motivating the children currently staying at home is a huge challenge. They added that where there are no so-called study halls (“tanoda”), children could not take part in digital education at all. And even in places that have a study hall, only 2/3rd of the students joined digital education.
- Orbán: Government to launch schemes to support digital education
- ‘Digital culture’ could be new subject in Hungarian schools from 2020
- Central Bank: Education improvements could boost competitiveness
Families not only lack the devices necessary for their online studies but also, for example, a quiet place in their house where students can concentrate on their work. Furthermore, many children do not understand the tasks while 25 pc of those asked in the survey said that children lack basic digital competences.
In contrast, there are positive experiences as well. For example, many said that the link between the families and the so-called study halls strengthened, and parents know that they can help their children to accomplish their school tasks. Those taking part in the work of the study halls think that
the state should have provided the devices and the Internet connection for every family.
The government should have acknowledged that there are families in which digital education has no chance, and they should have helped them because parents in those families cannot (or will not) help or motivate their children.
Schools sanctioned those who did not take part in digital education in the last few months with bad marks and absences. But that is not a solution; those taking part in the survey think that schools should open in August for the students who could not learn at home during the epidemic and help them prepare for their exams. Others urge the initiation of an integration program because the problems are much deeper, and digital education is just one of the symptoms. Finally, a quarter of the families said that they
received a lot of tasks printed on paper from the schools because they did not have any digital devices.
Erzsébet Nagy said that not even schools have an idea of how they will reintegrate those students who did not learn anything in the last few months. To make matters worse, the results of that might be catastrophic for the lives of these children. Therefore, many parents think that from September, schools should concentrate on helping these children to catch up.
Erzsébet Nagy added that even though schools could reopen from the end of May in Hungary, they remained closed in the poorest parts of the country where they are the most needed.