UAE: Rains prompt parents to become teachers as they juggle office work

Families where both parents are working, and children are still young face maximum challenges navigating work and overlooking children’s classes


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Tue 16 Apr 2024, 7:34 PM

Parents made frantic arrangements as they got their children ready for distance learning classes on Tuesday morning.

On Monday evening, schools sent out circulars to parents stating the transition to remote learning on Tuesday, in light of the anticipated adverse weather conditions.

Families where both parents are working, and children are still young face maximum challenges navigating work and overlooking their children’s online classes.

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Khaleej Times reached out to a few families to understand how they managed to switch both roles.

American expat in Dubai Natalia Miranda said, “My day is chaotic at best, we are not on Teams for school today as he’s still young. However, I did do a preemptive writing assignment with him during the Spring holiday. After many tears it was submitted on Seesaw (school portal) yesterday.”

She added, “Also, we are trying to work from home — both me and hubby — so that’s been fun, with the cat running around and my son building Lego during meetings. But the good part was we had lunch together as a family, even on a working day.”

Overseeing children between work calls

Meanwhile, Indian expat Arijit Nandi explained it’s been an uphill task for him to juggle his eight-year-old's schoolwork on MS teams and manage his office work remotely.

He said, “My wife is employed in the media industry so she has been immersed in her laptop all day without much opportunity to focus on other things today. But such is the nature of her profession — it’s a busy work day for her. As for me, my profession unlike hers may not demand immediate obligation but I also had to get into urgent work calls from time to time that extended for a considerable duration.”

Nandi added, “Since our son is still young and cannot completely function independently, unless nudged, he has been looking at opportunities to wriggle out. I’ve had to nudge him to complete his school work as assigned by his homeroom teacher and then helped him with uploading his assignments.”

Pandemic prepared everyone for crises

Egyptian-American resident, Naeema Zaki, who works as a teacher in the UAE brought her work laptop home yesterday.

She woke up early, tending to her three children aged 12, 11, and 7, while also facilitating asynchronous classes for her students.

“I remotely took attendance and assigned work through Google Classroom, communicating with students via email and discussion boards on ManageBac. With my own three children accustomed to their school schedule, they were up around the same time we would normally leave for school and began their work.”

She explained their teachers posted assignments on Seesaw and Google Classroom and made themselves available during school hours via email.

Zaki also emphasized that the pandemic has boosted everyone’s readiness for crises.

“I believe the Covid-19 pandemic has to a great extent prepared us for such situations. As teachers, it has significantly enhanced our technological skills in education integration. Our students are also adept at utilising digital platforms. Many of the platforms and websites we adopted during Covid have become integral parts of our teaching and learning practices,” she added.


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