Unequal Access to Educational Resources
The shutdown of educational facilities due to COVID-19 may not affect all students equally. Students from less privileged backgrounds suffered far more than advantaged students throughout COVID-19. To combat the spread of the coronavirus, most nations have worked to encourage parents and schools to assist kids in continuing to learn at home through distant learning. The governments recommended kids to study through home-accessible radio and television lessons. Radio and television lessons may be effective for certain children and students in metropolitan settings, but most rural parents do not have access to radios or television lectures (Rameez et al., 2020). This is also true for undergraduates in universities. They are unable to attend university and, as a result, are unable to use university Wi-Fi. They should stay at home and listen to lectures on their smartphones or other mobile devices. Due to financial constraints, not everyone owns a laptop. Before the epidemic, several of them had used computers in academic labs. They can no longer utilize those and must find their own.
According to (Rameez et al., 2020), Before the coronavirus, there were existing disparities in access to excellent education between students in urban and rural locations, as well as pupils from wealthier and lower socioeconomic class families. Students in remote locations and from low-income households have limited access to technology, the internet, and educational materials.
This uneven access persists and has been widened because of the epidemic. According to respondent 7,
“I used university Wi-Fi and computers in a university lab. After this pandemic I cannot use that and once my phone has broken. Then I have faced a lot of trouble because I haven’t a laptop”
This declaration reveals more unequal access to school, and many pupils may encounter similar issues. Based on facts, this statement affirms that Students from the community make the same trip to download online courses supplied to them by their teachers (ALJAZEERA, 2021).
Lack of Educational Environment
Another significant conclusion is that several respondents indicated that they had no room to study or attend lectures without being disturbed. Not all students have access to a study space where they can concentrate on their academics. Before covid-19, people studied at university libraries, reading rooms, hostels, or other suitable locations. However, they are no longer able to do so and must continue their education from home. Some of the challenges that students face includes, but are not constricted to, a lack of a private space within their home environment, the inability to have someone else watch their child/parent, too close proximity with other members of the household causing distractions, domestic animals in the background, and so on. Despite the above-mentioned distractions, having to share a living space with other family members and pets, as well as caring for small children, did not appear to stop students from enrolling in lessons, as seen by the video sessions. Through the observation, the researcher found these behaviors and incidents.
Further, this fact is confirmed by respondent 7 stating,
“I’m facing another challenge that; I don’t have a private room for my studies. Sometimes I don’t participate in my lectures because my little brothers and sisters are shouting and playing. Therefore, I missed a lot of sessions due to that. Before this pandemic, I continued my studies in my hostel”
Lack of Privacy
Furthermore, students may have privacy concerns and may not want to turn on their computer webcam because they do not want users to stare at them or the living environment; they did not even get themselves together over the day; the only place they can involve in the virtual class is their private room and they don’t want people to see it; they are worried about their social and economic status and do not want everyone else to make judgments on it; Many of these
factors are magnified by underpinning resource discrepancy and inequity. All of these are valid concerns that may explain why students are hesitant to switch on their computer cams. In (Neuwirth et al., 2021), this privacy problem is vividly underlined, and readers may realize that many students are still confronted with it. The most important fact is some of those unequal challenges have existed even before the invasion of this pandemic.