Home is the new classroom

Arousik, 43, gets up early in the morning, makes breakfast for the whole family and starts her morning routine per usual. Putting on makeup and nice clothes is a MUST, even if she’s only going to be seen on the screen of the laptop. 

Arousik is one of the hundreds of teachers in Armenia, who are carrying out online classes as the schools are closed and pupils are stuck home all day long because of the quarantine.

“I have 3-4 online classes per day, with 45-60 minutes each. I had never experienced such format of classes, although have always been following up with some online learning platforms such as Dasaran.am or My school”.

Arousik tells her first lesson was really unusual both for her and her pupils. 

“My pupils thought we were just playing a game. One of the kids even joked: “Ms Mouradian, why don’t you call us to school, are you mad at us?”. I told them this is temporary, but throughout the way, we’ll get used to it”.

On the 16th of March, the Armenian government declared a state of emergency for 1 month, which meant all educational institutions were going to stay closed until 16th of April. Two days later the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport announced that the lessons will be moved to the online platform. Soon, the minister posted the first timetable for kids. Some of the classes were going to be broadcasted on Public Television of Armenia, while the rest was left to the teachers.

“At first I used Facebook Messenger to call my kids, but now I use Zoom. It’s more convenient!’, Arousik says.

She recalls some funny moments from her online classes: 

“One parent told me that every day before the online class begins, her child puts on his backpack and enters the room exactly the way he would enter the classroom. Another pupil of mine puts a glass of water next to him, but never drinks it without asking for my permission! The kids are so adorable even if you see them through the screen! We have a special connection, which distance cannot break”, tells Arousik.

For her, this is a huge responsibility as family members of the pupils are always present at the classes, while for her family it’s a matter of patience!

Using the time of quarantine for staying productive and learning something new is very important. But currently, it’s crucial to learn what’s going on outside our comfort zone – home. 

Solving environmental issues should be a priority for each and any of us, so “injecting” love and care towards nature in children from an early age will significantly contribute to a healthier environment and, of course, to a better civic society.

This change in society can be brought through non-formal education. 

For this beautiful purpose, the DNA team has created a five-week online, free course on environmental topics for fifth graders. This will allow children to explore environmental issues, such as pollution, recycling, and natural disasters better and think of possible solutions. The training will be conducted by experienced and skilled DNA volunteers. At the end of the course, children will receive a certificate. It has already been successfully implemented at the school after Kojoyan, where children participated with great enthusiasm. The online classes will be launched in the upcoming 3 weeks so don’t forget to stay tuned for further updates!

So many great opportunities to make the most out of the “quarantined” time! Don’t miss a day! Start now and let this journey take you to a new level so that when all this “corona time” is over, you’ll step out of home as a better off, smarter and more responsible citizen!

Written by Nellie Melkonyan