KUCHING: The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically altered the education landscape globally, with the usual form of face-to-face teaching being replaced by alternative options such as online learning and homeschooling.
Homeschooling refers to children’s education at home or in locations other than a traditional school setting, and can be conducted by parents, tutors, or online teachers.
Some quarters have suggested that homeschooling can be continued even after the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
However, most parents seem to disagree with the long-term implementation of homeschooling even after the pandemic, due to the various challenges which would arise.
Some have expressed their view that homeschooling may be feasible only in certain settings and in the short-term, and the option does have its benefits and disadvantages as well.
New Sarawak Tribune spoke with several parents for their thoughts on this matter.
Sara Nadia Suib
Home-based learning is an excellent idea during the pandemic, but it is also a burden to many parents, especially in situations where both parents are working. Where will this leave the children? It may be a good option if one of the child’s parents is a homemaker. In my opinion, there is a lot more for a child to look forward to at school as compared to when they are cooped up at home.
Siti Haslina Hussin
Opting for homeschooling sounds possible, but to make homeschooling available for everyone, I think it is not feasible for various reasons. Those who opt for homeschooling must be ready to commit. It demands a new mindset, additional responsibilities, commitment, and discipline. Potential issues with homeschooling are self-doubt among children, less socialisation, family conflicts, lack of commitment, and so on.
Homeschooling is feasible as most urban parents have the means and capability, and it certainly has its benefits. However, are these parents willing to commit to years of homeschooling? This is especially when they may have other commitments with work or younger children to tend to. I fear that parents who want to homeschool their kids are only going through a fad or phase. In my opinion, as long as the parent is willing to commit to it in the long run— I’d say why not?
Hasniyati Abdul Rahman
I don’t think it is possible to fully implement homeschooling in Malaysia due to the numerous challenges involved. Homeschooled children may experience a negative impact on their social life. All children need to have friends and be around other children their age. Besides that, parents have to spend large amounts of money on books and other learning materials as they are in charge of their children’s education.
Homeschooling may be feasible in the urban areas, but not in the rural regions. Not all longhouses have 24-hour electrical supply and there are also challenges with regard to internet connectivity. Not all parents would be able to educate their children effectively; some are not educated themselves or sufficiently well-versed in the different subjects. Besides that, not all parents have the time to teach their children as many have to work.