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Teachers on the front line against COVID-19 …

Not only doctors, volunteers and philanthropists, but also teachers are getting expressions of gratitude for the hard, tremendous, responsible and dedicated work that is being done around the world these days.


The Minister of Education and Science Arayik Harutyunyan thanked them several times in Armenia, and at the March 30 sitting of the government the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that he had heard positive words and had seen great enthusiasm for the distant lessons. At the meeting of the executive, they proved that both teachers and students are very involved in the lessons.


Classes in Armenia are mainly held through the Zoom program. According to international media reports, before the pandemic, the maximum number of users of the program was 10 million. Since March of this year, 200 million people use the daily program. It is difficult to say how many of them belong to Armenia. It is known that two weeks ago, 24,000 teachers and students could not attend classes due to lack of technical equipment.


The government has promised to solve the problem, and philanthropists and ordinary citizens have provided a quick solution to the problem, providing children from many families with both equipment and internet connection.


For example, responding to the call of the RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, the UN Population Fund has purchased and provided the Ministry with 100 tablets for schoolchildren who, under the COVID19 epidemic, did not have the opportunity to participate in distance learning.


According to official statistics, the majority of teachers in secondary schools in Armenia, 88.8%, are women. These days they have to combine work from home, caring for family members, cooking, housework and cleaning. In addition invisible but constant presence of the parents of the students, the conversations and noise from the students’ houses, the opportunity to leave the class at any moment, the often emerging technical problems that force us to be more attentive, friendly and tense.


In honor of the teachers, their effective work is quite good.


WomenNet.am talked to the teachers about the difficulties and advantages of distance learning, as well as the interesting events that took place during the lessons.


Lilit Grishkyan, a teacher of Armenian language and literature at School No. 11 after Monte Melkonyan, says that when she and her colleagues heard about distance learning, they had no idea what it was about, both format and the instrument were unknown. But two days later, everyone was ready.


In those days, we thought we would not be able to stand it, but now the lesson process is normal, and the children have almost no technical problems. Of course, this cannot be as effective as the current training, at least at this stage, but it ensures the continuity of the educational process, gives an opportunity to get acquainted with new topics, ”says L. Grishkyan and notices that day by day she acquires new skills, acquires new tools, conducts the lesson more effectively.


There are a lot of funny things in the daily life of a teacher working with elementary grades, mothers sitting at the computer with the child often answer the questions first, not allowing the child to think.


“Once again, I asked  mother to sit down so that the child would be visible. She replied that the child was not at home, “said the teacher.


She has a school-age two children, who are in the third and seventh grades. They spend all day in front of the computer and the phone, as the workload has increased. “There are days when the lessons of all three of us coincide. Well, imagine, it’s a small apartment, we try to talk as low as possible during that time. All day long the phone is in my hand, I check the housework, correct it, send it back, I don’t even understand when the day started and when it ended. If before we used to say “we’re getting tired” by checking the notebooks, now it’s definitely like that, “jokes comrade Grishkyan.


She uses the breaks between classes not to relax, but to finish things she didn’t manage to do.


There is no shortage of teachers in the large family of Galstyans – Lecturer of Kh. Abovyan Pedagogical University: two lecturers, one teacher. Everyone takes a computer, goes to a corner or another room. “It’s really difficult, because in our house it’s always bustling. Often family members appear in the shot, but what can we do? ”Says Galstyan


Her stress is relatively low, she has no small children, and in her free time she does his housework very quickly.


In the situation created by the pandemia, the problem of teachers’ workload and stressful situation exists all over the world.


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a statement that the “unprecedented situation” puts teachers, students, pupils and families under stress. Most of the teachers these days were engaged in mastering the tools of quality teaching for themselves, for which they were either not paid or received very little support. On a contractual basis, many teachers warn that they are at risk of losing their jobs.


According to the organization, about 63 million primary and secondary school teachers in 165 countries around the world are suffering from the closure of schools due to the Covid-19 epidemic.


Today, they are at the forefront and responsible for giving 1.5 billion students the opportunity to continue their education, and that number is growing.


The organization has published a call for teachers to turn to governments to increase attention and support to the education sector to ensure equal and flexible mechanisms.

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