Schools ramp up e-learning amid COVID-19

Azlan Othman

Schools are ramping up e-learning capabilities in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, shifting most of their classes online or offering home-pack learning which can be collected at schools.

Schools provided instructions for students and parents on accessing home-based learning materials as online learning started yesterday. Many educational platforms are offered to the students such as Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Edmodo and Zoom.

The move comes amid an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country and enhanced measures to curb the spread of the outbreak. The new system allows students to get used to the idea of home-based learning and schools will assist students who do not have access.

Parents lauded the use of Zoom with virtual whiteboards and notes shared by teachers. “With enough preparations using Google Classroom, Edmodo, Canvas and so on, we can use one-to-one or one to a few approaches in video conferencing. However, nothing beats a real classroom setting,” said a secondary school teacher.

A mother of three said, “With so many WhatsApp groups set up for conventional, religious and extra classes, it can be a headache for parents especially if you have many children. Our Internet data package could run dry earlier than expected.”

“Some schools asked parents to collect the home-packs on certain days via drive through method. Parents need to be by the students’ side for online learning,” she added.

Some teachers posted in their WhatsApp groups that attendance is taken from 7am-8am and if there is no response from the students, they are considered absent.

To avoid overcrowding on e-learning, teachers divide the class into several groups. Some opted in accordance to their timetables at schools.

Meanwhile Radio Television Brunei (RTB) provided educational programmes for students to learn from home. Maths and Science were taught in the morning and afternoon yesterday.

E-learning at home. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN