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Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Brunei Town

Differently-abled students left behind in COVID times

The authorities recently announced that all students attending physical classes would be shifted back to online learning. It is a measure that should be applauded in the bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the current third wave.

While the move is good, it seems to cater to typically developing students, who are able to cope with virtual classes and excel. Sadly, for students with special educational needs, such as those with autism spectrum disorder, it is more challenging to hold their attention during a virtual lesson.

As a teacher, I believe that differently abled students should not be left out of the conversation when it comes to making decisions regarding to the continuity of education in times of crisis.

We are in unchartered waters. This is the first time that the world is facing a health threat that requires extreme measures.

However, resorting to online learning may seem like a solution but for differently abled individuals, who already have a different set of educational needs compared to their typically developing peers, it can be frustrating for both the students and their teachers.

Not only do these differently-abled students have shorter attention span, but there are behavioural and sensory issues to be considered in delivering a virtual lesson.

Quite a number of typically developing children find it challenging to cope with online classes. What more those with special needs, who tend to thrive in a physical learning environment?

A Concerned Teacher


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