Teachers worry about learning gap due to limited e-learning access

Some students have expressed no desire to go to school, while some in the exam classes have lost their confidence


THE cancellation and postponement of major school examinations in the country have caused students to become demotivated, and teachers worry that learning gap issues will happen, especially for this year’s school children.

Port Klang’s SK Kg Idaman student affairs senior assistant Suhaila Muner said it is obvious that there are pupils who have no access to Internet or smartphone, causing them to lose interest in studies rapidly.

“In the long term, this will cause a learning gap issue. We have to acknowledge and find ways to make learning accessible to all, even in pandemic,” she said.

Suhaila also expressed worry that students who spend their time online are easily exposed to the influence of games and social media like TikTok, thus the learning process becomes secondary.

“Loose parental monitoring will eliminate student learning desire. This will cause learning to be disrupted.

“What is important is discipline from students with the help of parental monitoring,” she told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

Kapar’s SJKT Methodist headmistress N Saraswathy said almost 70% of learning are lost on the students as they are not keen on e-learning.

“It is not a total loss due to home-based learning. But the result is considered lost.

“We lost the teaching environment. Empty school looks very bad. Teachers and students miss each other. Primary students, especially, need teachers’ love more than their teaching,” she told TMR.

According to a senior assistant for afternoon session, Kamala Devi A Subramanian, from SMK Pendamaran Jaya, some students have expressed no desire to go to school, while some in the exam classes have lost their confidence.

“They are very stressed, too. A lot of them appeared to have lost their confidence over subjects that used to pose no problem to them,” she said.

“Personally, I think the students should repeat the year,” added Kamala Devi. “Some students’ families, who are in bottom 40% income group, are really having a hard time.”

SMK Pendamaran Jaya vocational subject teacher Azlina Abd Wahab said since the school reopened after the Movement Control Order (MCO), the attendance of students to school has not been very encouraging except for the Form 5 students.

“No examination becomes one of the factors for students to lose interest and focus.

“My view is that, it is the family’s priority now to earn money for daily expenses that contribute to the reason students are increasingly losing motivation to learn due to such an environment,” she told TMR.

However, e-learning might be different with private school as the demand from parents is higher and school itself is better equipped.

Private high school teacher in Johor, Nurul Hazwani Hisamudin, said during the MCO, many schools are not ready yet, hence some schools might not be able to have smooth online learning due to sudden school closure.

She is fortunate that the school already started to use iPad this year, so they are able to conduct online learning with minimal limitations.

“However, I have to admit that online learning is not able to fully deliver the lessons similar to physical classes. One of the challenges of e-learning is students’ participation.

“Not all students fully cooperate during e-learning. For example, during Zoom class, some of the students turn off their video and mute the microphone. So, the teacher doesn’t know whether the students are really participating in the lessons or are they just simply joining the class, but are doing something else,” she told TMR.

Nurul Hazwani said this is why it is very important for teachers to work together with parents in making sure e-learning goes smoothly.

Read our earlier report

Students lose interest on poverty, slow Internet