Quarantine Doesn’t Hurt Schooling: Gymnasium “Our Future” Runs Full-Blown School Programme

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Islam in Ukraine
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Amidst the quarantine enforced in Ukraine as a means of counter-COVID-19 threw the issue of schooling into sharp relief. Gymnasium “Our Future” ran by Kyiv Islamic Cultural Centre fast-tracked the problem, preconditioning that its students never fell behind for even a day, despite the school programme being extended with the additional classes of Arabic, Qur’an, and Islamic ethics.

According to Ms.Maria Litvin, the Vice-principal for education, the Gymnasium never stopped the classes, but since the very first days of quarantine opted for online learning with teachers’ live feedback instead. Every teacher has hardware and software means of holding classes without having to risk taking public transportation on their way to school. They helped the parents, too, in installation and using hacks. The process involves video conference, so both the teacher and the schoolchildren can see each other during the class.

— We decided right away that children had to have their usual education process, even if it would have to be taken online. They had to be able to ask questions or queries. And the decision proved to be the right one, for we see that our standards for education remain high as usual. We keep up with our regular study plan, in full force and effect without modification. That helped us maintain our teaching standards. As for homework, the kids write them in their notebooks by hand, as usual, and then photograph each page and send those pictures to their teacher for a checkup. They have tests and quizzes, too, in order to monitor their learning progress.

The primary schoolchildren are allowed to do their arts and crafts assignments whenever they have free time, but each technique is explained by a teacher in an online lesson prior to giving assignments.

— We took that decision to shorten the screen time. We also take care for older kids' wellbeing as well, and take breaks for eye gymnastics during each class.

As for the discipline, homeschooling makes no problem here: they are hardly ever late for their class, and even on such occasions all the teacher has to do is send in an invitation to join the video conference to get a pupil to the class at a glance. Obviously, Qur’an and Islamic ethics also promote responsible learning, for those classes weren’t cancelled either.

Staff meetings and examination boards are held in exactly the same way. The last of such meetings, by the way, clearly showed how well the teachers adapted to the new realities of working online, without anything amiss in the educational process..

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