Virtual Learning: A Poor Education?

Jeremy Castillo Hernandez, Reporter

In 2020 there are many places across the US that have found ways to reopen; the one place that has found the most problems reopening is public schools. On October 21st, 2020, Fayette County decided that students would remain in NTI/Virtual Learning. Soon after, the Let Them Learn group protested for public and private schools to reopen.

“81% of parents want their children to go back to in person school,” HC teacher Marci O’Bryan said, “because you learn so much more in school than just math, language, history, and science. You learn important life skills that you can’t teach virtually.” 

Schools teach students everyday life skills that support their social interactions that are used in the future. But that ended with virtual learning.

“The coronavirus is something that interrupted a lot of routines in our families,” HC teacher Aaron Cain said, “so having that routine be disrupted puts parents who can’t access work from home in a tough spot.” 

Grades are an important factor in education. Virtual learning, however, doesn’t seem to be helping. 

“Well virtual learning hasn’t affected my grades that much but it definitely decreased my grades,” FD Freshman Prayas Shahi said. 

Both students and teachers alike agree that virtual learning can have a negative effect on student grades.  

“One of our teachers who specifically looks at this mentioned that failure rates are up especially among ninth grade students,” Cain said.

Cain is joined in his feelings by his fellow teacher O’Bryan in the math department.

“I think face to face communication can never be replaced even with Zoom,” O’Bryan said. “Especially if you’re in a house where your internet is bad. It just adds another level of stress to the day,” And in 2020 it’s the last thing anyone wants.

Virtual learning undoubtedly can cause stress. Stress can cause people to give up on things easily, leading to a poor score. In person this is not always the case.

“With virtual learning it’s difficult to learn as much,” Shahi said. “When we have our screen on all the time, we don’t focus on work cause we get distracted a lot more than when we’re in school,” 

Cain also summarizes the benefits of in-person learning.

 “I think a lot of my students are looking forward to returning to school for various reasons,” Cain said. “I think student grades can be one of those factors that they feel that they control better in person. Having the teacher right there to talk to and ask questions or maybe get support from their peers is a bonus to an education.” 

Virtual Learning has its defects. And these defects have caused struggles, stress, and failure rates to increase. Yet even with these defects Fayette County will have to stay this way, due to COVID-19 cases surging in Kentucky. As Governor Beshear mandated on November 18th, all red-zone counties must close schools till January. And with Fayette County’s rising rates, that doesn’t look to change anytime soon.