Jutarnji list: “Leading experts: ‘Either all the children needed to go to school or continue online!’”

“Is it in the interest of the children to leave the parents the decision to return to school, the obligation of teachers to carry out teaching online and in school at the same time, and to organize classes according to the CIPH, which, according to the headmasters, are impossible to implement, or in the first place are economic interests, and how will it all affect the children? “, journalist Ivanka Toma wondered in a topic published in the Jutarnji list on May 2, 2020, entitled: “Leading experts for the Jutarnji.hr about ministry of education decision which confuse many ‘either all the children needed to go to school or continue online!'”

Director of Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center, professor Gordana Buljan Flander spoke about this topic:

“Ombudsman for Children Helenca Pirnat Dragicevic yesterday came forward and recalled that on April 24, she called on the CIPH to timely clearly define concrete measures for the protection of children’s health, given the risk of spreading the infection.

On that occasion, she stated that this school year, even for the youngest students, should be completed by online teaching without returning to school, and informed the Ministry of Science and Education, the Government and the National Civil Protection Headquarters.

– The position of the Ombudsman is that the fact that parents have to go to work is not a sufficient reason to expose their children and their families to additional risk, burdens and insecurity, even after the Government of Croatia has already decided on duty on March 19, 2020 in the absence of a duty another option for the care of children of working parents – recalls the official website of the Ombudsman, with the hope that the CIPH’s instructions will be fully implemented.

Right for health

Gordana Buljan Flander, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, director of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center, points out that it is confusing for parents to give them the responsibility of deciding to send their children to school in situations where they do not have enough information.

– It is unacceptable for me to ask for the responsibility of someone who is not provided with fully informed decision making of such great importance. In a situation of general insecurity that affects all of us, this responsibility on the backs of parents contributes to increasing their insecurity, continuing to the insecurity of children and feeling that they cannot be trusted with strong and clear leadership – says Buljan Flander.

Psychologist Marina Ajdukovic thinks similarly .

– People’s capacity for change should be taken into account. He has been reduced, and especially to take responsibility for such important things. Parents take too much responsibility for what they are not well informed about – Ajdukovic says, noting that parents have not even decided to close schools. This is about the child’s right to physical and mental health, and the decision to return the children to school should have been made by epidemiologists together with mental health professionals and removed from their parents.

– The best option would be for all children to be in equal mode – to continue the school year online, or to return all children to school and to make this a joint decision – says school psychologist and Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy Vesna Vlahovic Stetic .

Two systems

Marina Ajduković points out that it is not good that we have two parallel systems. – It was an opportunity for the school year to go all the way online, and to allow parents who are directly working to have an extended stay in school – Ajdukovic says, explaining that classes would go online and that the care for children whose parents had to go to work would be organized in the residence . So we wouldn’t have two parallel systems.

– Children whose teachers will be engaged in school and distance learning will not be equal, and from the experience of colleagues in schools we know that it also brings them additional burden and care and that the quality of work will fall if they have to be in two places at the same time. Let’s not forget that teachers must also take care of their health with the children in the classroom, and the responsibility to keep children at a distance, especially for kindergarten teachers, is too heavy and practically impracticable – Buljan Flander continues.

Vlahovic Stetic also says that teachers cannot organize two types of teaching every day because it exceeds the capacity of one-time work hours and strength. This also raises the problem of rating. Teachers will find it difficult to evaluate children who will not work on the same terms, some will be assisted by parents at home, and others will be taught.

– I don’t see why he insists on being judged in this situation. The school for life should adapt to the living situation. In times of crisis, we take the opportunity to include experts in online classes that will make it easier for children to adjust and cope with stress, and according to the experiences of our patients and colleagues, I believe that this has not been sufficiently represented so far – concluded Buljan Flander. ”

Source: Jutarnji list: https://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/obrazovanje/vodeci-strucnjaci-za-jutarnji-o-odluci-ministarstva-obrazovanja-koja-je-zbunila-mnoge-ili-su-sva-djeca-trebala-u-skolu-ili-nastaviti-online/10265590/

Disclaimer: This is unofficial translation provided for information purposes. Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center cannot be held legally responsible for any translation inaccuracy.   

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