School and college closures were a critical quarantining measure during the Covid-19 pandemic. An essential step to prevent the virus from spreading further, countries across the world shut down educational institutions as a crucial isolation policy. The devastating outbreak and rising death toll necessitated the extension of lockdown measures and forced global academia to look for other avenues to carry on with their activities. Online education and homeschooling became the new normal, naturally.
Singapore is one of the biggest and most reputed academic hubs in South Asia. Numerous renowned educational institutions and a myriad of prominent online assignment services, offering everything from engineering to international economics assignment help, call Singapore their home.
And, home-based learning revealed how socio-economical differences affected students across one of Asia’s most developed countries. Here are some interesting facts that came to light.
Inequality in Education – Incidences from Singapore
The quarantine was indeed a revelation that shone a harsh light on the cracks in the county’s seemingly spectacular education system. Home-based learning requires some essential resources like electronic devices and a stable internet connection & it is quite shocking to find that there are still families out there who cannot afford either or both of these two facilities. Apart from such socio-economic factors, the learning environment is another factor that has been found to play a critical role in a student’s education.
- According to Singapore’s Ministry of Education, the Government provided around 12500 laptops & tablets along with 1200 Internet-enabled devices for families who were unable to afford these devices. This noticeable digital divide was a striking revelation for the administration and laid bare a significant rich-poor gap in a country, which proudly claims to be one of the leading developed countries in Asia.
- Online classes shine a light on the plight of the more financially challenged families. While educational institutions were able to provide several facilities in a cohesive manner, home-based learning requires families to arrange and pay for everything themselves, from costly devices to internet connections and much more. Naturally, families with weak finances face a lot of trouble in this regard.
- Many families from low socio-economic backgrounds find it difficult to provide an apt learning environment for their children. Their children might be the first in the generation to avail proper education, and their parents might struggle quite a bit with supporting them. Lack of appropriate education prevents such parents from helping their wards through distressful situations.
- Tutors conducting online classes report incidences of students, from families who lost their primary source of income, were worried about domestic violence & ability to continue online schooling. What’s worse, in some cases, students were concerned about not having enough to eat.
- Families with a poor financial condition found themselves overwhelmed while teaching their wards. E-learning lies at the core of home-based schooling and requires one to negotiate different digital interfaces. And, while wealthier parents can afford to navigate their way around such hurdles, financially struggling families tend to suffer a lot.
These socio-economic divides are nothing new. The pandemic and the quarantine led to conditions that laid bare the harsh reality of our society. Experts predict such inequalities to increase further as massive layoffs occurred across sectors and more are yet to follow.
To sum it all up, tough times genuinely reveal the truth of everything.
Summary: Just like in every country around the world, home-based schooling has become essential in Singapore too. However, the phenomenon had some unintended consequences and revealed several harsh realities about the socio-economic divide in one of Asia’s most developed countries. This article shows some shocking facts that have come to the fore.
Author-Bio: Alley John is a professor of economics from a prominent school in Singapore. A prolific online blogger and tutor, he is a veteran of online tutoring and offers excellent economics assignment help at MyAssignmenthelp.com, no.1 online academic service provider.