Volume 9 Issue 3 (2020)

Online Teaching Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic

pp. 169-184  |  Published Online: October 2020  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2020.93.4

Shaista Noor, Filzah Md. Isa, and Faizan Farid Mazhar

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a remarkable economic impact worldwide, including in Pakistan, and was soon declared an international public health issue. The education sector in Pakistan, specifically school (K-12) education, has seen a staggering impact due to obstacles in delivering alternative forms of education during the pandemic. Educational institutions in Pakistan closed on March 13, 2020, and then, on April 13, 2020, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, announced the launch of a “tele-schooling” initiative. Teaching staff, who are arguably the most vital resource in any schooling system, faced considerable physical, mental, and financial challenges due to an overnight shift to an online mode of teaching, with issues concerning inadequate digital pedagogical knowledge and infrastructure limitations relating mostly to power connectivity. The current study investigated the perception of Pakistani school teachers regarding their online teaching practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the study, a qualitative research strategy was adopted, with semi-structured interviews conducted via Skype with 10 school teachers from Pakistan’s renowned Army Public School and College System (APSACS) schools located in the Rawalpindi and Islamabad regions of the country. Saldana’s (2016) structured inductive data analysis method was used in analyzing the collected data. The study’s results highlighted the issues and challenges confronted by school teachers in delivering online lessons via Google Classroom, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams such as high-cost Internet packages, uncooperative learners, low attendance of learners, teachers’ technology confidence, limited availability of educational resources, lack of ICT knowledge, and poor network infrastructure. However, the creativity, dedication, and community spirit which the school teachers demonstrated in working with very limited facilities were exemplary. Hence, based on the study’s findings, changes were proposed as a way forward. It is hoped that the study’s findings will help policymakers and the Ministry of Education in Pakistan to focus more on human capital development, interpersonal development, communication and technology management training, and support programs, especially for school teachers as the foundation of the next and future generations.

Keywords: COVID-19, online platform, learner, teacher, technology challenge, COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan

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