It was not a new reality, but the Covid-19 pandemic and confinement exposed it in all its harshness: the digital divide exists and it is not just about the lack of a device or internet connection, but about have minimal knowledge.
The reality, of course, was portrayed in schools. In confinement, remote communication between the center and families was vital. It was then discovered that in many houses there was no way to connect or it was impossible to follow the instructions.
Strategy against absenteeism
This reality was what motivated the Municipal Institute of Education of Tarragona, IMET, to offer training to parents that would guarantee that, at a minimum, they handle the channels to communicate with the school. The idea is to train them, in addition, in the tools that they use in each center to follow distance classes, something that was essential with last year’s confinements.
This is how the ‘Connecta’t a l’èxit educatiu!’ program arose last year within the framework of the Pla de millora d’oportunitats educatives, PMOE of the Departement d’Educació and which is also part of the Pla Educatiu d’Entorn en in which Educació and Tarragona City Council participate. This year it is offered in 10 city schools.
Montse Alegret, a graduate in pedagogy and technique from IMET, explains that although the evolution of the pandemic has made us return to face-to-face contact, there are ways of communicating that are here to stay. Parents need to manage the applications with which to communicate with their children’s tutor, receive evaluations or control absences from class.
Alegret recalls that communication between the school and the family is key to preventing absenteeism and school dropout.
Laia Bernebeu, trainer, explains that the program works ‘tailor-made’, that is, it starts from the knowledge that each person has. Last year was designed specifically for parents, but this year students who need to improve their digital skills have been included.
Open until the end of the course
In some cases they have knowledge of how the internet and social networks work, but what is lacking is the language “we communicate visually, as needed,” explains Bernabeu.
One of her students is Anissa, who is highly motivated by the course. Although her command of the language is limited (it is easier for her to talk to us on WhatsApp than on the phone), it gives her peace of mind knowing that she knows the ways to communicate with the teachers of her 9 and 14-year-old children when she needs to.
The program will continue until the end of the school year so that new families who need it can still go to receive training or answer their questions. Training is done in the schools themselves or in nearby civic centers.
The workshops are held on Mondays at the Saavedra and Pont del Diable schools, on Tuesdays at Ponent and Bonavista, on Wednesdays at the IES Sant Pere i Sant Pau and La Floresta (Centre Cívic Torreforta), on Thursdays at the Riu Clar and Sant Salvador and Friday at the Institut Torreforta and the Institur E. Mediterrani.