1. Lack of a reliable internet connection in low income settlements
  2. Large number of responsibilities 
  3. Lack of a suitable home environment 
  4. Emotional instability
  5. Ability of teachers to implement remote learning

With the increasing Covid-19 infection rates, steps are being taken to discourage gatherings in order to curb further spread of the disease. This, together with the fact that there’s no clear evidence about when this crisis will be mitigated, calls for the need to take alternative measures as far as learning is concerned. These measures should be applicable for students of both high and low income neighborhoods.

Remote learning is one of the recommendations that governments have made as a substitute to traditional teaching methods. This strategy has revealed further inequality in learning between children of low income and high income families. Low income families have been placed at a disadvantage following the shift from classroom learning to online lessons. These challenges are a result of various factors;

Lack of a reliable internet in low income settlements

Though layoffs are inevitable during a major recession among all people, Covid-19 has caused layoffs at a faster rate among people of low income than high income earners making it hard for them to pay for their daily necessities. Stretching their resources to afford internet access is a nightmare. They have more pertinent issues like the lack of adequate and regular nutrition making an internet connection the least of their worries. These students end up without resources to facilitate tech-oriented remote learning.

Large number of responsibilities

For those that can afford reliable internet, low income essential workers are hardly at home. Their children are saddled with the responsibility of taking care of house chores and the elderly in their families. This leaves them too exhausted to devote quality time to studies. Parents in such situations are also unable to help their children with learning.

Child labor: child from a low income family working
Children are more prone to responsibilities while at home

Emotional instability

Conversations everywhere are as of now revolving around Corona virus and the risk that parents and older siblings with jobs are taking when they report to work daily. The media surrounding the pandemic has not made anything better. Students are constantly worried about the disease leaving little will power to focus on their studies.

  • Lack of suitable home environment

For some students, support from fellow students as they interact physically helps them in dealing with learning challenges, and in some cases, depression. Remote learning poses a challenge for students to study at home when the environment in their home is undesirable. Concentrating can prove to be hard especially where peace is hardly a guarantee in their homes.

low-income settlement
The environment is inherently unsuitable for learning by children

Ability of teachers to implement remote learning

Not all teachers are accustomed to remote teaching especially in developing countries. This may lead to the teacher shifting classes from one platform to another in the hunt for a platform that works for every student. Although this effort is with the students’ well being in mind, it is time wasting and an impediment to effective learning.