YOUR STORY: Some parents of private school students struggling with distance learning


Some parents of children in private schools say they're having a hard time keeping their kids interested while online learning during the pandemic. 

Two parents who reached out to had the same concerns:  distance learning is not working out for their children.

"They're watching YouTube, they're playing video games, they're doing anything else, they're not listening to the teacher. Maybe a little but not for eight hours a day," said one parent of children in grades seven and eight.

"I think it's an impossible situation. (The teachers) really try: 'cameras on, I'm listening, I'm watching you, sit up straight.' They're really trying hard."

The two parents who did not wish to be identified asked the schools to assign more written or reading work to keep their children occupied.

"It's bad mentally and physically for them. They're not practicing any real skills," said the other parent of children in grades five and seven.

Grade ten and eleven students in both the private and public school systems have to do distance learning one day out of two.  The Association of Principals of Private Schools of Quebec said some schools have their own systems for online learning: one of its schools only does it Fridays; another does it for three days and the other three days, students are in class in person.

Schools have to do two weeks of distance learning when students contract COVID and everyone in the class bubble has to self-isolate.

Association president Eric Déguire said the feedback he's been receiving is that it's working out in most cases.

"You're right - when you stay all day in front of a computer or iPad, it's not always easy," said Déguire in an interview with CJAD 800.

"The best thing is to have different ways to teach; so you can do Flip Classrooms, do some videos and have the students listen to the videos."

Deguire said teachers are doing their best to engage the students and suggests parents get in touch with schools and ask for help, perhaps with support from monitors.


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