Online School, fair or a fast solution?
Covid-19 has affected our daily lives and have adjusted to the “New Normal” while the certain term is still in constant development depending on the current situation but one thing for sure is that Schools in Thailand will not be reopened until 1 July of this year. Still, at any time there is still a possibility that the date could be moved out with the health and safety of the children as the main concern. While the idea of online teaching might seem appealing and convenient, the truth is many Thai families are struggling to adapt to the concept of online school.
Similarly to many other areas in the nation, some families in Khorat, Nakhon Ratchasima Province are not able to join in their school’s new online learning. They have no TV, no internet, no smartphones, Ipads, printers, and other IT gadgets required to complete the online courses. Samran 54 years old stated that the new regulation for students to join in online learning while waiting for schools to reopen is not fit for everyone. Samran’s family and others have no access to these IT gadgets. Samran has 2 grandchildren, one in grade 2 and one in grade 6. The family only have 1 TV, but they cannot access the internet. The idea of buying monthly internet packages is not an option considering the family’s income. The family is very worried, as they try to find solutions in continuing the grandchildren’s education during this time.
Pad 60 years old has 4 grandchildren, each of them is in grade 1, 2, 6, and 7. In order to join the online learning program, they must have a TV, smartphone, computer, or iPad for each child. The family has 1 TV and this is simply not possible. The family has no internet and the only phone they have is one with buttons. Pad hopes that the government can find a better solution towards education during this time. Mainly towards a solution where all children can have equal access to education. Pad states that investing in the internet and phones is not reasonable, especially when like many others, the family is trying to survive during Covid-19.
According to The Verge and Paw Research Center, even in the USA where many would assume to be one of the most developed countries, only 56 percent of families with incomes under 30,000 USD have access to the internet. According to Statista Research, about 48.4 million people in the country have access to the internet and 28.2 million are smartphone users. The population of Thailand is currently at 69.7 Million.
FB Caption: The government has to consider that not all children have access to the internet, smartphones, and computers.
Source: INN News, Statista, The Verge