What students from the Idea Fusion Center think about distance learning

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Learning and class attendance have been taking place under different circumstances for the students. Due to the pandemic, most of them participate in distance learning and attend classes in front of the screens. It has all substantially altered their everyday life.
In that context, the students Ljubina and Melisa, who are members of the Idea Fusion Center, shared their opinions and experiences regarding distance learning. Read more about the positive sides, but also about the challenges that they faced.

Ljubina Bozinoska:

2020. A difficult year for all of us. We encountered something that none of use hoped would ever happen or that it even existed. Coronavirus… We faced something unseen before; we all entered a new world… We, the students, entered an uncharted territory. Online classes.

We all found the year 2020 very challenging, but for us, the students, it was especially hard. At the beginning, we were all happy: “Hurray, no more tests, no more oral examinations!”. But, in fact, now we began realizing the difficulty of online learning. No more hanging out with our friends, we even started forgetting what they look like. About 7 to 8 hours a day every child is supposed to sit in front of a technological device for the online classes and for the other tasks related to this way of learning. This takes a heavy toll on us and our bodies, especially our spine and our eyes. In addition, our emotional status is troubled, our thoughts are burdened with worries.

Still, the good thing about online classes is that we can learn something new and become better acquainted with technology. Despite all the bad things that happened in 2020 and the online classes, still something new emerged in my life. It is the extracurricular activity titled Idea Fusion Center which, I can freely say, has changed some of my outlooks on life. I started noticing changes within me right after the first meeting, in terms of my comfort zone, my everyday life, the future…

We must never lose our hope since it is the only thing that remains in these hard times. Let’s hope that this “monster” will disappear as soon as possible and that we will all be able to go back to school and spend time together as we used to!

Melisa Muliseva:

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic we all had to start distance learning. What has COVID-19 taught us? It taught us that breath is the essence of life, that we must live surrounded by clean air, that we must refrain from harming the trees, the insects and nature in general. We learned many other things, as well. During the COVID-19 pandemic we had online classes and in some instances this was good for us, but in others it actually was not.

We gained the following benefits from the pandemic: during the online classes, in addition to the class members, a chance to join in was also given to the principals, the psychologists and other persons from different schools; we were able to do internet research about any assignments that we might not have understood during class, as well as many other benefits. If we didn’t have online classes, we would have had to attend school, which means getting up early in order to catch the school ride or, like some of the students, walk from home to school and back.

The adverse effects of the pandemic relate to the fact that due to staying at home for prolonged periods health issues could appear, as well as increased opportunities to copy during tests.

By means of distance learning, people learned how to use technology and the Microsoft Teams platform. During the pandemic, I joined the Idea Fusion Center and I made some new friends, which was really good for me. I met people from many different places.

We are confident that everything will go back to normal in the foreseeable future.

These highly-motivated students who are also members of the student parliaments in the schools, through the Idea Fusion Center, participate in the development and implementation of unique and creative ideas at a distance.

This activity is part of the Youth Ethnic Integration Project, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

This article is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of MCEC and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) or the United States Government.