Schools are unprepared for Coronavirus shut-downs, but help is at hand

Schools in the UK may close for up to 2 months during the Coronavirus pandemic. That’s the experience from China, and it could come here as soon as next week. Teachers are largely unprepared for teaching their students remotely, and have no budget to buy-in online teaching tools. That is why the popular online assessment service Yacapaca has announced that it will drop all fees to Coronavirus-hit schools for the duration of the pandemic, however long it lasts.

**Teachers are unprepared**
Teachers from international schools in China are already having to teach remotely. Here’s one comment from a Facebook group* “My husband and I are in this position [of having their own children at home] and struggling. Trying to balance teaching and childcare in an apartment is impossible. We’re muddling through but I wish we had a counsellor on staff to check in on us!” Many journalists will find this familiar! Teachers understand face-to-face; online teaching and learning is completely unfamiliar to them.

**Parents are worried**
Very few schools have provided any information to parents about how they will ensure that their children will not fall behind in their studies. School leaders should say clearly that learning will continue, and show parents how it will be monitored and assessed.

**The solution**
Teachers must have access to tools that are designed for online education. One such tool, , has announced** that all fees will be dropped and unlimited access will be allowed for all schools forced to close due to the Coronavirus pandemic – wherever they are in the world. is the leading formative assessment tool for secondary schools in the UK and British International Schools. It contains over 20,000 pre-written tests, all automatically marked and with instant feedback to the student. Teachers and students see the results as soon as the test is completed. It was designed to save teachers the chore of marking, and it works just as well from a distance of 1000 miles as it does face-to-face.

**Quote from Ian Grove-Stephensen, CEO of Yacapaca**
“Parents and teachers should embrace this as an opportunity for children to develop the habits of self-study. The tools are available for teachers to continue to monitor and motivate their students without needing to stand over them. I am proud that we have been able to make at least one essential tool free during the crisis, and I hope teachers will use it to the max.”

The idea of schools being closed for weeks seems scary but with free access to tools like , teachers can turn a problem into an opportunity.

Contact details for Ian Grove-Stephensen
Skype ian_gs
P +44 20 7193 7138

1. Yacapaca
2. *Facebook group for teachers whose school has closed
3. **Announcement on Yacapaca blog

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