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8 Jun 2021


Online learning: Expenses pose challenge to low-income parents (Current Issue No.3229)


The 2021 school year marks yet another year that sees students taking their classes online. Some educational institutions have organized online sessions ahead of the new school term, which is presently set to begin on June 14, 2021. KResearch conducted a survey in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region to gather parents' opinions regarding perceived challenges in the continuation of online classes for their children, and online learning over the upcoming period as recent developments of online learning focuses on educational applications to provide another option for learning. Key details are as follows:

            The survey identified one major issue: a general lack of preparedness for use of online learning tools, particularly among low-income parents who have trouble affording digital devices like laptop computers/tablets (electronic learning tools) and internet service. Families with two or more school-age children often face difficulties in purchasing additional electronic devices, while some parents expressed concern over higher internet expenses. Parents with financial limitations in facilitating online learning note that schools could add classes on Saturdays, extend school hours on weekdays, or reduce the time spent on certain activities to avoid impact on students' learning progress.

​Going forward, KResearch is of the opinion that online learning will play a more prominent role in education – for instance, learning additional skills through online courses or new educational trends that are emerging overseas like hybrid homeschooling, an educational model that is a mixture of online learning and on-site classes on certain days. However, the survey reveals that parents continue to harbor concerns towards online learning, including the quality of education their children receive, effects on students' health and quality of life, as well as technological limitations and online safety issues. As technology gains prevalence in global education trends, focus should be on the development of the formal education system in terms of quality and equality. Such efforts would entail reducing limitations and bridging the gaps in every aspect of online learning, focusing first and foremost on students' progress. Emphasis should also be placed on planning and creating a standardized online learning system. All in all, cooperation of all parties concerned is needed.