Online Classes Bedeviled by Technical Glitches

  • By Kwak Soo-keun, You So-yeon, Yoon Soo-jung

    April 17, 2020 13:07

    Online classes started Thursday for 3.13 million schoolkids in selected grades from elementary to high school.

    The first round of online classes for 858,000 middle and high school seniors already started on April 9, and next Monday first to third graders will start school online.

    But technical glitches continue to plague online teaching. Around 5,500 schools started online classes on Thursday morning, accounting for 46 percent of schools in Korea. But connection problems started at 9 a.m. and lingered through the day.

    Teachers meet their students online at a middle school in Incheon on Thursday. /Yonhap

    Roll calls and teaching frequently descended into confusion. Online classes by state-run Educational Broadcasting System encountered connection problems several times after they started on April 9, and they recurred on Thursday.

    Some schools were unable to continue, but the Education Ministry tried to play down the problem by saying "a complete system halt" was averted.

    One teacher at a public school in Seoul said, "All I could tell my students who faced connection problems was to wait." And the parent of a sixth grader said, "My son started playing games on his computer when the connection problems started. I'm afraid this will continue."

    Education officials said some parents are being forced to spend their own time on online classes with their kids.

    Teachers are bracing for continued technical glitches when more students begin online lesson next week.

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