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Rural Kanchanaburi students struggle with lessons

Jack Arthur

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PHOTO: Giang Khanh Hoang/Flickr

The Covid situation has affected nearly all walks of life in Thailand and throughout the world. In a rural location in Kanchanaburi, western Thailand students can be seen several kilometres outside of their villages. They stare at smartphones in their hands. They’re not making Tik Tok videos and they’re not playing games. They are in their online classes. The students struggle with a lack of Wi-Fi in their village so they have to take a motorbike ride out to places where they can get a signal.

Even a local community leader acknowledged that Wi-Fi can be an issue and expressed his “concern” for the children.

On the teacher’s side of things, Casey Cardinal, who teaches in the Bangkok area and is a rising star on Thai history on Youtube, empathises with all things students struggle with but says teaching online is fraught with problems for teachers as well. He says if the kids are participating, it’s great, but 90% of the time it feels like you’re talking to yourself. He also cites problems such as microphones and cameras being turned off or students not showing up.

Last month, a poll showed many parents and students felt schools are unprepared for teaching online. Many unused schools in Thailand are being converted into field hospitals as Covid continues to rage across the country.

 

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