Over the past couple of years, the Covid-19 pandemic has made online classes for school children a permanent fixture. Online schooling has become the “new normal” that students, teachers, and parents have had to quickly adjust to. This sudden change has been particularly challenging for specially-abled children. The question is, is online schooling beneficial for them?
Specially-abled children are more vulnerable in this new educational environment because it requires them to quickly become familiar with smartphones and smart devices. However, these devices often prove to be too complex for children with limited skills. Additionally, the cost of data can be prohibitive for families with limited resources.
Accessibility has been a major issue for many specially-abled children. Some come from poor backgrounds and cannot afford smart devices, or there may be only one phone available within the family. This phone is typically carried by the father for work, leaving the child without access to online classes.
Another challenge for specially-abled children is their difficulty in concentrating for long periods of time. Distance learning requires hours of sustained focus, which can be overwhelming for these children. Furthermore, distractions from other children or background noise makes it difficult to follow instructions from the teacher.
However, there are ways to support specially-abled children in the online learning environment. A customized approach that combines digital learning and independent study at home can help these children revise and reinforce their lessons. Building online connections with classmates and teachers for support is also beneficial. It is important to allow specially-abled students to learn at their own pace and take breaks as needed. Flexibility in their learning schedule can lead to better academic performance.
Encouraging specially-abled children to interact with their peers in online extracurricular activities can also boost their morale and help them adapt to the new environment.
pecially-abled children, with the right support and assistive aids, they can successfully integrate into the mainstream education system and achieve academic success.