E-learning amid Covid-19 outbeak: Revealed various weaknesses

Being closed for nearly two months due to the unwanted Covid-19 outbreak, schools in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) are enthusiastically turning to e-learning styles. However, this unprepared application of the new learning method has revealed various weaknesses
March 17, 2020 | 08:38
E-learning amid Covid-19 outbeak: Revealed various weaknesses
Third-grader Nguyen Huynh Thong is getting used to e-learning with the help of his brother, a seventh grader. (Photo: SGGP)

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phat, Principal of Lac Hong Secondary High School located in District 10, stated that his school has run e-learning in all four grades, attracting the participation of 80 percent of the total students.

Similarly, Huynh Khuong Ninh Secondary High School is delivering home assignments for students of all levels each week to consolidate their newly obtained knowledge. Nine-graders in this school even take part in online sessions with real-time interaction for the three main subjects of Math, Literature, and English.

“Since this is a new method, e-learning is able to catch the interest of students in my school. However, due to the limit in educational facilities like computers, headphones, and Internet bandwidth, not all learners can thoroughly enjoy it”, said Principal Cao Duc Khoa from Huynh Khuong Ninh Secondary High School.

Teachers of Vo Thi Sau High School, sited in Binh Thanh District, can make use of the lesson plan database, along with recommended useful links on the Internet, to help their students. They also frequently remind their learners to build autonomy in order for a smoother start when coming back to school.

In Bui Thi Xuan High School, located in District 1, teachers are not demanded but encouraged to launch online teaching sessions if they have sufficient equipment. Others can send review exercises to their students for knowledge revision.

One math teacher in a high school in HCMC commented that his department has to change the e-learning platforms 3 times in 2 months just to find the most suitable one. Yet, he is still dissatisfied with the evaluation method.

A principal of a private primary school in Binh Thanh District stated that e-learning in HCMC is just like a hot trend with no clear leading. A lack of sufficient advanced equipment and qualified teachers, along with an uncertain school break time, has made it much more complicated to launch effective e-learning activities in the city at the moment.

Principal Nguyen Thanh Phat shared that the school needs a close cooperation with parents in both human and financial resources to ensure the success of this new learning method.

He added that it is critical that teachers put more effort in adapting themselves and learning new technological skills, in wisely choosing suitable content to teach. This will make their online lessons more attractive. Meanwhile, school managers cannot evaluate all teachers using the same criteria, but to apply on-going assessment based on the ultimate results of learners, not on the number of participants.

Ms. Le Ngoc Diep, former Head of the Elementary Division under the HCMC Department of Education and Training, shared that teachers should integrating the knowledge cultivation into games and skill learning to avoid boredom.

While waiting for a formal legal direction from the Government, school leaders should not limit teachers’ innovation to any one specific implementation method, but to let the creativity boost the effectiveness of online teaching sessions. SGGP

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