Pointing out that distance education can negatively affect students’ academic success as well as their sense of belonging to school, the Political, Economic and Social Research Foundation (SETA) recommended activities to strengthen harmony and motivation in face-to-face education.
SETA researchers Müberra Nur Emin and Mustafa Altunel prepared a report titled “Turkey’s Distance Education Experience in the Covid-19 Process” in order to reveal how distance education is experienced in Turkey, to identify the main problem areas and to offer solutions.
The report also included the evaluations of school administrators, teachers, students and parents on the distance education process.
In the report, which pointed out that the Covid-19 epidemic, which affected the whole world, caused a crisis in education as well as in areas such as health, economy and tourism, it was pointed out that in this process, face-to-face education had to be suspended in all education levels from pre-school to higher education in many countries.
According to UNESCO data, around 92 percent of students around the world stay away from schools. In this context, it was reminded that distance education started in Turkey as in many countries.
The risks of the epidemic in education
In the report, the risks posed by the closure of schools and the transition to distance education due to the epidemic were classified under three headings as “inequality of opportunity and deepening of inequalities in education”, “increased loss of learning in students who have been away from education for a long time”, “increase in absenteeism and school dropouts”.
It was stated that the distance education process in the Covid-19 epidemic was carried out mostly through technology-supported applications, and said, “For this reason, the state of having technological devices to follow the course processes of the students stands out as a parameter that directly affects the efficiency of the education and training processes during the pandemic period. Therefore, distance education The difference between students who have digital devices and those who do not, in terms of access to education and benefiting from educational opportunities, will increase inequality in education. assessment was made.
In the report, which noted that the learning loss and low motivation experienced by the students during the holiday periods may increase during the epidemic process, the report said, “Studies reveal that the long-term absence of students from school negatively affects their school belonging, motivation, academic success, communication and social skills development.” information shared.
Risk of “increase in absenteeism and dropouts” after the epidemic
In the report, it was emphasized that the return to school and adaptation processes of students are of great importance as well as continuing education during the epidemic, and the following statements were used:
“Studies based on past experiences point to the risk that students will experience losses when they return to school and dropouts will increase after a long break from education. In other words, it is stated that the longer children stay away from school, the higher the risk of not returning to school.”
The report also drew attention to the negativities that may occur in terms of both the individual development of children and social welfare if school dropouts increase after the epidemic.
“Schools should be aimed to open”
In the conclusion part of the report, it was emphasized that access to and regular use of distance education varies depending on the socioeconomic status of students, school profiles, parents’ interest and digital literacy levels.
It was stated that this situation increased inequality in education, and it was pointed out that distance education would lead to a decrease in school attachment, learning loss, absenteeism and school dropout risks, especially for disadvantaged students.
In this context, it was underlined that the opening of schools should be targeted and the following was noted:
“Even though trying to open schools during the pandemic is a much more complex and difficult process than closing them, the primary goal should be to open schools, considering all the risks. After the schools are opened to face-to-face education, it will improve the academic, social and psychological conditions of children during the pandemic process, and identify their deficiencies in these areas. There is a need for studies to make up for it.”
“Measurement and evaluation mechanisms for distance education should be established”
Some of the recommendations in the report regarding education and training activities during the epidemic process are as follows:
“- Action plans for education should be created in an emergency, prioritizing children and public health. These action plans should be macro-scale that will determine general education policies and micro-scale, where each school will create its own action plans.
– In the distance education process, it is necessary to monitor the access, participation and continuity of each student and to identify the problems related to these issues. In this regard, educational counseling can be provided to families by creating a structure similar to family health counseling in the health system.
– Digital literacy support mechanisms should be established for teachers, students and parents.
– Measurement and evaluation mechanisms for distance education should be established.
– When schools reopen, efforts should continue to ensure that children learn continuously both at school and at home.
– Compensatory trainings to be created should not only be academic, but also should be of a quality that will increase the adaptation of the students and strengthen their motivation when they return to school.
– Remedial support services should be provided for the psychosocial conditions of children due to the epidemic.
– Existing courses in higher education programs for teachers on subjects such as digital literacy, use of technology, and e-content development should be supported and renewed according to needs.
. (HAS) . ..