Is it still free Education? A reflection on high school teachers' experiences in Western Iran from digital teaching during the Covid -19 pandemic

Helia Rahbari* (Corresponding Author), Education in the North

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalFeaturepeer-review

Abstract

This article reflects five high school teachers' experiences in Western Iran from digital teaching when the schools were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic in February 2020. Eight semi-structured interviews with teachers, analysed by grounded theory, were conducted. Interviewees were recruited through a snowball method, and the recruiting continued until the saturation point was reached. The analysed data suggest that digital teaching has not been equally accessible for all students as the less privileged students were left alone to resolve their difficulties in accessing suitable devices and the cost of the internet. The fact is that the existing/structural problems such as poor internet coverage or lack of access to necessary devices or low-speed internet, blockage of applications such as Telegram and the cost of the internet are the main problems teachers face to deliver teaching. Teachers' solutions to overcome these difficulties ranged from off-line classes, where students download the lessons when they can, using various channels for different levels of internet access, being very flexible with timing and finally a limited number of in-person lessons for those students who had no access to the internet. More central measures taken by the central government are necessary for making digital learning available for less privileged students. Measures such as lifting the cyber ban, reducing the cost of internet, providing devices and better internet coverage for students in rural areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages9
JournalEducation in the North
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2021

Keywords

  • covid-19
  • digital teaching
  • Iranian teachers
  • educational justice
  • education and accessibility
  • Shad
  • internet ban

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