From: Exit News
University Students Struggling to Attend Online Lectures due to Economic and Practical Limitations

A Student Council (UKS) questionnaire revealed that most students are facing pressure from pedagogical staff to attend online lectures despite some finding it economically impossible to pursue them.

For more than a month, universities have stopped teaching on campus due to the coronavirus epidemic. Lectures and seminars have been moved to online platforms, but not every student has been able to access them

UKS asked 2,000 students from all universities in the country and found the following:

  • economic impossibility of regular internet access – mostly students living in the districts
  • lack of equipment needed for online learning which requires extra costs
  • pressure from pedagogical staff to attend classes, regardless of the conditions in which the students are living

Online lectures are a previously impractical methodology in Albania, however, over 67 per cent of students surveyed say that depending on the situation, the decision to continue online lessons was right.

During this academic year, classes were previously interrupted for about a month after the earthquakes of September and November 2019.

However, very few students – about 18 per cent – have a high level of information about developing online learning while about 80 per cent of them follow it via mobile.

The lack of computers, laptops or the economic difficulty of paying for internet packages are some of the difficulties that students face in the districts.

Ascertaining this situation, UKS called on educational institutions to take into account the conditions in which students find themselves.

At the same time, UKS demanded that the payments of the second semester of the academic years be postponed, thus making it possible for the students’ families not to be burdened more by the epidemic situation.

Exit previously reported on 153,000 families in Albania that do not have access to the internet. This means their children are unable to continue their school lessons during the Coronavirus lockdown.

According to the CRCA, a child’s rights NGO and the Albanian Coalition for Education the Ministry of Education is facilitating a violation of the right to quality and equal public education for all children in the country. Noting that these families do not have access to the internet or digital television platforms, it means that children are unable to access the broadcast of secondary and primary lessons.