Exploring the effectiveness of online teaching learning practices at the government primary schools of Bangladesh during the COVID-19 Pandemic
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This study is about how online education is assisting students in government primary schools in Bangladesh during the pandemic and whether it is effectively assisting students in meeting their goals. The study was carried out to find out how distance learning, also known as e-learning, electronic learning etc.is helping the students to meet their pedagogic needs and fulfill the criteria needed for effective online schooling. To analyze the efficiency of online classes amidst the pandemic, GPSs from the marginalized communities of the Rayerbazar area have been chosen to represent the fragment of the educational crisis the nation is suffering from. In this regard, the following study was carried out in four Government Primary Schools from the Razyerbazar area of the capital. The catchment area that these four GPS covers are primarily within the zone of the urban slums of Dhaka city. The targeted population were comprised of stakeholders who are primarily affiliated with the Government Primary Schools, namely students, teachers and head teachers. The findings from this study suggests that the students and teachers who were interviewed came into a common consensus that they prefer physical classes over online classes, however even if online classes were not the best mode of schooling, it was still the next best alternative and preferable rather than sitting idle at home during the lockdown imposed by the pandemic. Lack of adequate technological devices like smart-phones, laptops, desktops and expensive data packs were some common obstacles from the student’s side. On the other hand, the teachers expressed their challenges regarding not receiving adequate training to effectively conduct online classes, unsatisfactory attendance from the students, and lastly, lack of proper technological devices. However, one of the key findings of this study is that although there are various obstacles that students and teachers face when teaching online learning, the good news is that conducting lessons online is without a doubt a laudable move adopted by the present administration to prevent students' academic activities being lost. Online classes are a next best alternative to physical classes, even though the entire system of online classes does not have the potential to out rightly remove the existence of physical class altogether. Online classes were helpful but it was not always feasible and quite expensive.