Distance teaching-learning during Covid-19 in one NGO school in Dhaka
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Like many other usual ways of life, COVID-19 had a profound impact on Bangladesh's education sector and worldwide. From the beginning of the pandemic along with many other countries, the Government of Bangladesh also announced a complete shutdown all over the country. Many people in this country live below the poverty line, and can hardly afford their daily meals and other necessities. In this scenario, the government couldn't implement onlinebased teaching-learning in all educational institutions. Along with other reasons poverty, lack of devices and digital literacy, and lack of proper teacher’s training were the main reasons behind not being able to implement distance teaching. Many private educational institutions have initiated online teaching-learning methods to continue the studies of their students. The main sufferers were the students from government primary schools, low-cost NGOs and private schools and schools in remote areas. In this context, the research explores the practices of distance teaching-learning in an NGO school that was in operation from the beginning of the pandemic. Most of the students of this school are from very underprivileged backgrounds, and more than 80% of them had no access to smartphones. Through the research questions the study finds how this low-cost NGO school managed to continue distance teaching-learning despite the lack of trained teachers, device unavailability for the students and no preparation of the school. Following a qualitative research approach the study investigates the practice of distance teaching-learning from both the teachers’ and students’ perspective. The findings of the research show that despite having many constraints, the school continued distance teaching-learning through phone calls, assignments, oral examination and building proper guidelines. Moreover, all the teachers have learnt and developed many skills throughout the process which helped them to implement new initiatives. The study results create a new way to think alternative ways of providing education to all in any unexpected situation like the pandemic. Finally, the study suggests giving importance to the teachers and students to achieve digital literacy, and the government to provide free internet to all educational institutions.