Net problems beset online schooling bid

Net problems beset online schooling bid

Schools to get IT gear for July 1 start

The Education Ministry is testing an online teaching and learning system scheduled to launch for the new school term on July 1, although 10% of students were found to have no access to the internet at home.

Some of those lacking access to the online teaching and learning system live without electricity, while others do not have internet connections or computers, Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan said on Wednesday.

His comments were delivered while leading a test-run on an online teaching and learning system at Wachiratham Sathit School in Phra Khanong district of Bangkok on Wednesday.

To resolve these problems, the minister said he would ask the Digital Economy and Society Ministry to provide additional equipment to schools to ensure all students have access to the system.

The internet-based teaching and learning system will be associated with a long-distance learning system, said Mr Nataphol.

Students without the required learning equipment at home will have to go to their schools to attend online classes instead, but the maximum number of students allowed will be limited to 20 per class to ensure social distancing, he said.

At Wachiratham Sathit School, more than 1,000 teachers and students as well as their parents took part in Wednesday's test run of the online teaching and learning system, said Mr Nataphol.

A survey on Wednesday during the test run found 77% of students were ready for the arrival of the online learning system while the rest had more work to do, he said. On the plus side, the school's IT facilities and digital learning resources are thought to be in good shape, which should cater well those children forced to study there.

To ensure every student has access to the system, teachers were assigned to supervise and assist those students who needed additional help, said Mr Nataphol. All teachers at the school have completed training on computer programs such as Microsoft Team, Zoom and Google Meet to implement online teaching and learning, he said.

Also, the Education Ministry today is launching an associated long-distance teaching and learning system, jointly developed and implemented by the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and the Distance Learning Foundation under the Royal Patronage that operates Distance Learning Television.

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