Adriana Kotlárová, educator at school with many Romani pupils: Families have no Internet access, personal contact unavoidable even during COVID-19
Romani community member Adriana Kotlárová is from the Czech town of Most and graduated in secondary school instruction with a focus on Czech language and literature and social sciences from the Education Faculty in Ústí nad Labem. Since 2016 she has been teaching that the Primary School on the Chanov housing estate, where many Romani people live.
ROMEA TV interviewed her in her capacity as the homeroom teacher for the ninth grade there and asked how she sees the COVID-19 situation. How is the school coping with distance learning?
Where have complications arisen and how are they being resolved? What is the situation of ninth-graders now?
What are teachers concerned about? How should parents approach home schooling?
Interviewer Richard Samko asked her these questions and more. All ninth-grade pupils have found themselves in a complicated situation because of the quarantine.
This is the time of year when entrance examinations to secondary school would normally be happening. The Education Ministry has decided that those entrance examinations will not happen until the children return to regular instruction.
The authorities have also announced that ninth-graders will have an opportunity to apply to two different secondary schools, but will have to pass the entrance examination on the first attempt. There will not be an opportunity to hold a second round of entrance examinations this year.
"This is a very complex situation, they are meant to prepare for their entrance examinations, but instruction is not happening and there is a minimum of preparation. There is subject matter on the exams that has not been taught yet, but that could appear on the entrance tests. The preparation had been underway intensively since November, as had tutoring and hobby groups. Now, all of that is unfortunately on hold. Because everybody will get just one attempt at the exam, we all have concerns about how that will turn out," she told ROMEA TV.
Kotlárová comes from Most, where her family still lives. She decided to work at the Chanov Primary School after interviewing with the principal.
"After I graduated from college I returned to Most, where I have family, from Ústí nad Labem. I interviewed in several places and on the basis of my meeting with the principal of the Chanov school I decided to work there," said the teacher, who is in her fourth year.
"I have the feeling that I've grown up here at Chanov. During my studies I was just a student, a child. Here I have been given responsibility for others, to teach them and raise them. It's not just that I have taught something to the children, but they teach me something each day. They have different interests, sports or music. I have a boxer in one class, so I've learned the rules of boxing," she said.
The teachers are doing their best to aid their pupils' parents with home schooling. Some households unfortunately do not have access to the Internet, but the Chanov Primary School is doing its best to solve that problem.
"The instruction is currently demanding, many children have no access to the Internet. The children come to us to get their homework or we bring it to them," she said.
Parents are able to pick up homework and materials at the school itself or download them from the school's website. If parents don't know what to do with the homework or the material, they are meant to contact their children's teacher.
"That's the difficult situation, contact with the teacher is important. The teacher will advise, instruct, explain the assignment, clarify the approach required. Here I would advise parents to be in contact with the teacher," she said.
"It is important to teach children in a calm environment. If they neglect instruction right now, they will fall behind. The parents are playing a pivotal role," she told ROMEA TV.
- Czech Foreign Affairs Minister tells ROMEA TV that Brexit and COVID-19 are causing problems for UK residents hoping to return
- Czech Interior Ministry centre refutes most frequent disinformation about COVID-19 online
- Interview with Romani man in Czech Republic recovering from COVID-19: This was not like the flu
- Czech Labor Minister tells ROMEA TV the crucial priority is to prevent mass unemployment because of COVID-19
- Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe calls for Romani living conditions to be improved during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Czech Govt Human Rights Commissioner thanks Roma for their aid during COVID-19 and wishes them well on International Romani Day
- Petr Torák: The COVID-19 pandemic is getting worse in Britain, dozens of Roma are returning to the Czech Republic
- Vladimír Leško: Dozens of Roma are returning from the UK to the Ostrava area of the Czech Republic, they and others will be tested for COVID-19
- Romania: 100 Roma demonstrate in Bucharest in front of Russian Embassy with mockup of the tank that Romani Ukrainians captured from the occupiers
- Czech capital's "tent city" receives first Romani refugees from Ukraine
- Czech university distances itself from e-mail alleging increased security needed for dorm because of refugees from Ukraine
- Czech Interior Minister wants stricter checks on the passports held by refugees and changes to the aid offered them
- Volunteer aiding refugees from Ukraine in Czech Republic: Institutionalized racism definitively condemns Romani people to a hopeless fate
- Czech detention facility housing 130+ refugees from Ukraine, half of them are Romani
- Prague asks the Czech state for aid with accommodation of groups of Romani refugees from Ukraine, mayor says the state's effort has failed so far
- Mayor of Czech Republic's second city alleges Romani refugees sleeping in the train station can access benefits in other countries, then admits she can't prove it
- Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights: Police ignored whether the man they restrained was even alive, ambulance called too late
- Czech state acknowledges problem with finding accommodation for Romani Ukrainian refugees, Mayor of Prague calls for all free capacities to be provided
- In Czech Republic, the Hungarian passports held by some Romani refugees from Ukraine have not proved to be an advantage
- Romani Ukrainian refugees refused housing and registration in Czech Republic and sent to Germany