Should Oman introduce blended education?

Opinion Sunday 26/November/2023 20:59 PM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
Should Oman introduce blended education?

Covid has left behind many positive experiences and one thing teachers have learned is that remote learning produced the best in students, both in basic and higher education.

Schools had a big leap then in the online learning but since all students went back to the classrooms after Covid, teachers are asking questions. Is there any point of not continuing with it? Digital learning, as sometimes it is called, has many advantages, the teachers say.

One biggest advantage, these teachers say, is that students can record the classes and listen during revision time. They don’t have to write notes under pressure like in the face to face classes. They can replay the classes when they are fresh and in the mood of learning. One headmaster told me young students excel only when you give them the choice. This way, students feel they get treated like adults and on par with the modern world.

Critics would say there are problems in E-Learning, as it is sometimes called. Not all students would prefer to sit at home and learn. That is where blended learning comes into place. Those kids who prefer physical education can walk into the classroom. But they can opt to stay behind whenever they like and learn in their own homes.

Critics would also say physical education encourages children to interact positively with each other. But what about those who don’t? Cast your own thoughts when you were at school and think about those bullies. Or about teachers who taught at the speed of lightening and you understood very little.

But blended learning can be advantageous not only in the basic education, but also universities.

Teachers reach breaking points, too, not just students, when they jump from one class to another during the day. Imagine you have three classes back to back and six hours of teaching at a stretch. With online teaching, since half of the material are available online, a class session can be cut down to half.

Less pressures for the teachers and students, too, when it comes to mind-boggling concentration that reduces the brain choke in half. This way, the syllabus can be covered without pressure to teachers and students and that provides less pressures to the learning institution. It is not the number of hours students learn but the quality of the content of their education. Also, the freshness of the minds of both teachers and students when they concentrate only on what is important.

Blended learning, in my opinion, creates excellence, expansion and equity. You expand the minds of young people when you give them a choice. It is about teaching at the same time students from different locations. The other advantage is that the government will not need to keep building more schools. That means it is budget cutting, too.

Also think of all the roads with buses competing the same busy roads in the morning to schools and in the afternoon back home. That also means fewer accidents on the roads and less hassles to make sure students are safe while they are travelling.