Is technology really helping students during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Letters to the Editor

Is technology really helping students during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Friday, March 27, 2020

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Dear Editor,

COVID-19 has not only been a disaster on Jamaica's business economy, but also on our education system at the different levels. Every school term comes with a course outline, objectives, and syllabuses that must be completed before the child is able to progress into another class, term, or year. However, due to the pandemic of COVID-19 students are lagging behind to some extent, especially those at the primary educational level. Teachers at the lower levels may give their students assignments in abundance in an attempt to complete the tasks, but who is there to explain when they do not really understand?

Yes, there are functional homes with parents that will render assistance where needed. However, there are parents who are illiterate and ignorant to certain subjects/courses, thus they are unable to assist their child/children, while others will leave them unsupervised to do whatever as they please.

Technology is an amendment to the era in which we are living, but is it really a solution to this problem?

The majority of the rural areas in Jamaica lack Internet access, phone company data plans are expensive, among other challenges; hence, people are unable to facilitate online classes on a daily basis. Not to mention the mediums on which the online classes are kept are not always compatible with all devices — the challenge being greater with low-end devices. When expense is not the cry, it's either the problem of reconnecting or no connection at all. In addition, there are students not equipped with their own laptops, computers, and other gadgets to adjust to this new change. These students would usually visit the library or Internet café to study and do research. Unfortunately, these entities are closed to the public, leaving them with no option.

COVID-19 has impacted our educational system drastically, whether you believe it or not. There are children at home doing online classes who are unable to keep focus due to distractions from family feuds, younger siblings, and extra responsibilities to be fulfilled since they are currently at home.

Many students complain about their hatred for school, some wished if they never had to attend, but ironically these are the same students crying out on various social media platforms expressing their boredom and wishing for school to be reopened soon.

School is a place for interaction, comfort, and learning for many students across the island. At times this is the only place where attention and love is reciprocated to them. Sadly, COVID-19 has stolen that away from them. Nevertheless, it has also opened the eyes of the nation to the importance and advantages of school. We can only continue to keep safe, pray, and hope that this nightmare will soon pass.

 

Jullian Blair

julli.blair@gmail.com


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