Children’s Day: Educators set for virtual celebration
Children’s Day, which is celebrated every May 27, has always been a special day for children across the globe. Governments, individuals and corporate bodies usually organise different programmes and activities to celebrate with the children and make the day memorable.
At these programmes, children are enabled to display their abilities to entertain parents and also enjoy themselves. The day is usually full of fun and merriment, as the children participate in various games, dances, excursions and drama, among others. It is a yearly event the children eagerly look forward to.
However, this year’s celebration will be completely different, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which led to the lockdown of the country, with schools shut and children forced to stay at home. And though the lockdown has been eased, certain safety measures, such as social distancing and wearing of face mask have to be observed. All this is making social life awkward.
But still, is there any way the day can be celebrated to enable children to feel appreciated and to lift up their spirit, especially in the face of the boredom they may be experiencing right now?
Madam Chidinma Uzor, the proprietress of Kids World Academy, said though COVID-19 has prevented social activities, schools have to look for ways to make the day fun-filled for their pupils. To this end, she disclosed that she would be engaging her pupils on social media, make them tell stories, jokes and riddles, as well as mime songs and dance.
“When children see their mates displaying their creativity on social media or any other platform, they will want to imitate them. So, we want to use the social media celebration to impact on the children and make them enjoy the day.”
To Yemisi Oluronke, proprietress, Learners’ Ville, Ibadan, learning is flexible. So, the educator can use any available medium to impart knowledge. In her view, the best thing to do in the circumstance is to invite some children between ages nine and 15 to teach such concepts as social distancing, how to properly use the nose mask and other rules to keep safe from the pandemic.
Accordingly, she has invited about 20 parents to come with their children and some of her teachers also.
She said: “We look forward to using the COVID-19 Children’s Day celebration to enlighten people, especially children on the need to observe social distancing, wear masks properly, avoid touching their faces, and how to properly wash their hands each time they touch any surface. The day shall be observed with a difference because all this information shall be passed on in a play outside the school setting. It is going to be an educational outing for every one of them. ”
She explained that after the enlightenment, the parents and children would be entertained with a solo performance and dance drama, with proper attention paid to social distancing.
Similarly, Thomas Ayeni of Great Brain Academy, Lagos, said he has made some arrangements with an event centre, where his pupils would be entertained with an educational movie while observing social distancing and other safety measures.
He explained that parents had been pressuring him to do something different for the children, as many of them are tired of staying at home, and were looking forward to Children’s Day, so as to mingle with friends and pupils from other schools.
Ayeni disclosed that the educational outing would enable the children to feel how people are reacting to COVID-19 and the way things have changed since schools were closed.
He said those that could not make the event could watch it on the school’s WhatsApp platform and Zoom, as well as make their contributions to the issues to be discussed.
Urging parents to ensure that their children stay safe, Maryann Emile Alegieuno, kid author of Beautiful, I Can Fly and Lizzy the Teensy Weensy Lizard story books said other children should look out for her on YouTube, as she and her siblings unveil this year’s virtual celebration of Children’s Day.
She said parents, school-owners and children could make the best of the day by doing something useful. She explained that her siblings will on May 27, recite the COVID-19 poems they have written and share them on social media platforms.
She said: “Children can engage in activities such as a family parade, spelling bee competition and the likes to make the best of a bad situation. These activities can be shared on social media for others to enjoy.”
Also, Judith Eboye Alegieuno, CEO of CAMJIT Consult, Abuja, a children-centred outfit, called on parents to engage their children with exciting activities centred on creativity.
She said: “May 27 is a special day and should be treated as such. It should be celebrated in our individual homes. Pictures and videos taken should be uploaded and shared with friends and families around the world. What a memory this would create in the precious hearts of our little ones.”