By the year 2020, online schooling had become so unworkable that the quarantined education system had been rendered ineffective.
That’s rather an audacious claim, wouldn’t you say? You presumably already have some rebuttals prepared for this allegation, which is being made. You are quite right in saying so. However, the teaching on the quarantine wasn’t exactly top-notch, was it? A student can easily order term paper without their teacher even knowing. Seventy-two percent of those who participated in the study were of the opinion that distance learning had either partially or significantly contributed to a decline in the quality of the education provided in schools. It is only natural that the lack of experience that teachers have with distance learning led to these results. Nevertheless, they are not alone in this regard. Not just the methods of training itself had an effect; other factors did as well. Inequality and the deterioration of the mental health of students are two instances of this phenomenon. Regarding these concerns, we are going to delve further deeper into the topic.
These problems appeared to be present in Ukrainian educational institutions, didn’t they? The results gathered from monitoring distant education over the 2020–2021 school year demonstrate this. The following are some of the drawbacks associated with the use of distance learning in educational settings:
- Internet access for students was severely restricted;
- insufficient number of digital gadgets;
- low levels of pupils’ motivation.
The unequal distribution of resources has shown itself in the form of certain students not being able to use the equipment in the classroom. Those who had access to a laptop computer were able to continue their studies as usual; students who did not have access to a laptop computer were unable to complete their studies.
On the other side, the students exhibited a sad attitude. It is also probable that mental health problems had a part in this incident. At the end of the day, stress is one of the factors that contributes to a drop in academic motivation.
Examine how these problems manifested themselves and how they were resolved.
During the course of the outbreak, children in low-income countries missed a greater number of school days than those in higher-income nations. In addition to this, it was due to the fact that there were not sufficient conditions for distant learning (technology, internet, infrastructure, etc.).
Due to a lack of suitable hardware, students coming from a variety of socioeconomic situations are required to participate in lessons presented in a variety of forms. Children living in countries with higher standards of living may have the opportunity to complete their schoolwork through the use of interactive internet platforms that allow for two-way communication and the provision of continuous feedback. Those who lived in nations with a lower socioeconomic standing were primarily educated via the use of radio and television as their major way of receiving information. Learning via the internet was regarded as more successful than learning by radio or television by respondents to a study poll conducted by UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank.
In addition, children who came from disadvantaged groups, such as families of migrants, LGBT+ persons, and members of minority groups, had a more difficult time adapting to the atmosphere of remote learning. They did not have access to the greatest learning environments at home, and some of them even had to contend with physical abuse from members of their own families. Children who had special educational needs and students attending schools where the medium of instruction was not the students’ mother tongue posed additional challenges to the implementation of online education.
How has the world tried to overcome inequality in access to distance education?
The infographic that can be found below details some of the measures that have been implemented throughout the world in an effort to eliminate educational disparity.
Measures to help groups of students who may not have access to distance learning
The giving away of free electronic devices to children was the tactic that proved to be the most successful in countries that had a high standard of living; nevertheless, this tactic was only effective in nations that had large revenues. In contrast to the wealthy countries, where it was essentially nonexistent, less developed countries significantly relied on it to improve their access to the internet (particularly mobile, because smartphones had fewer students than computers).
Because there was no centralized support for the equipment, these problems needed to be solved on the ground. However, there were occasions when local students and deputies gave their time to help low-income students with challenges linked to technology, such as access to the internet and energy. This assistance was much appreciated. As a result, there were more alternatives for “creative” solutions:
- teachers consulted students by phone and brought them printed materials;
- some communities used the neighborhood: asked poorer students to team up with those who had the equipment, or took turns giving students access to school devices;
- also organized charity events in the style of “Give an extra smartphone to a student who needs it.»
There has been a detrimental impact on the mental health of young people all over the world as a direct result of the closure of schools and colleges. This has led to an increase in levels of stress, anxiety, and depression among people in this age range.
- There are now more mental health and online suicide prevention hotlines available to teens. The majority of them were opened by non-profit groups, therefore increasing state and budget financing in this sector would be beneficial. In the UK, for example, a charity helped to fund the creation of the Student Space site. There is a wealth of information about mental health available online, as well as ways to receive help.
- Youth centers have taken on the role of providing psychological support. Headspace is a network of centers in Australia, while Ohjaamo is a state-funded institution in Finland.
- Psychological therapy services provided by the government are now available through specialized programs. There is a program in France that provides free consultations with a psychologist for students and children between the age of 3 to 17 years old, among other things.
- There has also been a great deal of focus on the topic of mental health in schools and among individual instructors. The following were the key tactics:
- connect with pupils more frequently, for as by video
- build a pleasant working environment (for example, to weaken deadlines for submission of works so that students do not stress that they do not have time to do something).