The Online Learning Divide Brought on by Covid-19

The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has caused the shutdown of many industries and institutions. As a result, in the education sector, most schools and universities shut down partially or completely, causing a move to introduce online learning. But a big part of the students across the world come from countries where inequality and poverty are a challenge. This means that many students have not been able to continue with their studies due to lack of access to digital assets.


In an advanced digital world, putting education online was to be expected. Students exercised the power of choice and chose the kind of learning environment they preferred. This guaranteed that students who learned online were well equipped to deal with the challenges of online learning. 

Online learning
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the face of education and redefined the way students learn.

Image from by @airfocus

The early challenges of online learning


With the recent lockdowns in many countries in response to the spread of Covid-19, students had to quickly move into online learning environments and this came with challenges. With access to the internet, availability of mobile phones, laptops and tablets, it is easy to assume that online education is accessible. As a master’s university student, I personally have a head start in many areas. I have access to a laptop at work and school, good internet connection, and can efficiently make Google searches. As a result, when the rest of my semester moved online, the only issues I had were my distaste for online education over the classroom experience.


In the early days of lockdown, social media was filled with parents sharing their experiences of helping their children move into online learning. There were also news of university students completing the rest of the semester fully online. Some found the move challenging while others found it easy to manage. The general theme was that people on social media had access and could continue learning undisturbed. Their schools responded to the challenge of this change in norm. But there were students in the margins that not many could see. We probably did not think about them, because it took a lot of self-reflection to start thinking about how they were dealing with this challenge.


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Nolusindiso Noqayi

Article Writer & Content Contributor

Meet the team: A picture of Nolusindiso Noqayi.

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