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Foyle Kumon reaches out to stressed home schoolers

15 July 2020
One of the biggest challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic has been ensuring children keep up to date with their studies while busy parents juggle working from home with home schooling.
Many have struggled to keep up with the demands and stressed parents have been turning to online resources to guide them on how to meet the needs of children having difficulty getting to get to grips with their school work.
One local organisation extending a lifeline to anxious parents is the Foyle Kumon Study Centre, who have been assisting families by helping them assess the impact of Covid-19 on their child and access the appropriate support needed to meet their academic targets.
The Centre is run by Sumeeta Gupta who has been working with local children for over eight years, supporting hundreds of families and children by providing the learning tools to help them realise their full academic potential.
Sumeeta has recently been working with Derry City and Strabane District Council's Business Boost Programme to help promote learning and bring peace of mind to parents anxious to bring the best out in their children. The programme focuses on providing local businesses with specially tailored assistance to promote the success and sustainability of their company – particularly those impacted by the effects of Covid-19.
With the help of Business Boost, the Foyle Kumon Centre have been able to adapt their services to reach out to families struggling to cope during lockdown, offering Covid-19 Impact assessments and free registration for new students, as Sumeeta explains.
"This has been a very challenging time for parents and I have been trying to do what I can to help families affected. Even relatively brief periods of time out of education can have a lasting impact on children," she stresses.
"It's not just the missed opportunities for learning that need to be considered during the current crisis, however. The more serious concern is that, when schools are closed for long periods, many children will begin to forget what they already know – a regression that will be much harder to remedy.
"If schools don't reopen until September, many children will have spent more than 20 weeks in a row away from school – an unprecedented amount of time away from education.
"While the government is trying to encourage home schooling, it relies on a good computer and reliable internet connection to be able to access the school's resources, and a quiet room to study. Home schooling also assumes that the parents themselves are sufficiently educated, and have enough time to be able to help with the lessons, which is not always available. 
"Research suggests that mums are mostly affected by the extra pressures of lockdown - especially working mums. As an educator and a Mum myself I feel a strong sense of responsibility towards any child who finds themselves in this situation and I'm equally keen to help those parents who would benefit from some sort of support in coping with this unexpected for new role of teacher." 
Kumon study helps children of any age and any ability to shine through building confidence and instilling a new love of learning.
"Our programmes establish strong foundations in Maths and English, helping any child to feel confident enough to tackle challenging work," Sumeeta explains.
"We understand that all children have different educational needs and families have been impacted to different degrees by the pandemic so we are offering a free Covid19 impact assessment to establish exactly where they need help.
"We work with the family not just the child and can arrange information sessions for families to understand their individual concerns. We can direct them to the resources currently available in the community - online or locally - and discuss with them how we at Kumon can help them in sharing the workload of keeping up with their child's academic needs.
"I've felt so blessed to be able to support so many families and children during this time. I'm dedicated to helping children but in a way that doesn't put any extra pressure on them, especially during the summer months.
"It's reassuring to see the strong focus being placed on education locally – especially now the city has been designated as a UNESCO learning city promoting the right to learn for everyone. I'm delighted that with the support of Council I've been able to find new ways of reaching out to those in need of additional help during what has been extremely stressful and emotional time for so many parents and children."
Louise Breslin is Business Support Manager with the Council, leading on the Business Boost Programme. "I am delighted to see the Foyle Kumon Centre reaching out to offer their services to local families at such a difficult time," she said.
"Local businesses have really rallied to support the wider community and I want to acknowledge the excellent work being done by Sumeeta and her team. It's fantastic to see participants in the Business Boost Programme being able to use their skills to adapt and respond to the current challenges in such a positive and proactive way."
You can find out more about the services being offered by the Foyle Kumon Centre in response to Covid-19 by going online at www.kumon.co.uk/foyle/
Email [email protected] or follow them on Facebook.
To find out how you could benefit from Council's Business Boost Programme go to http://derrystrabanebusiness.com/