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Inequality in online learning leads students to strike or log off

The coronavirus crisis and the confinement has led to inequalities between students when it comes to internet access.

In Chile, students have gone on an unprecedented online strike for equality. Students of Universidad de Chile and Universidad San Sebastian have put forth inequalities in online learning, stating for example that 15% of students do not own a computer. Furthermore, many teachers are not sufficiently trained for online teaching and learning or struggle to transfer some courses through an online media (such as medicine or physical education).

In the United States, high school students haven’t gone on strike but simply stopped logging in, especially when living in busy districts or, on the contrary, living in rural communities unserved by internet providers.

University students in Hong Kong have followed suit with an online protest against the use of Zoom in online learning as they are concerned with leaks of their personal details following reports that Zoom meetings could be compromised. Students had initially simply switched off their webcams and changed their profile photos, but they, however, intend for this to only be the first step.

Many low-income students across the world are at a definite disadvantage in the move towards online learning, lacking either computers or actual physical space within their homes. Simple access to the Internet is not the same, especially in rural areas or highly populated urban areas.

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