Lack of internet access in Southeast Asia poses challenges for students to study online amid COVID-19 pandemic

Only a few countries in Southeast Asia have around eighty% World wide web penetration. Credit:

Governments and companies throughout the entire world have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with cancellations of public functions and closures of workplaces, dining places, museums, colleges and universities to avoid masses from gathering as the hugely contagious pneumonia-like disorder can distribute from just one particular person to one more.

As of March seventeen, around 182,000 scenarios and additional than 7000 fatalities have been recorded all over the world.

Instruction establishments about the entire world have responded to university closures by holding their courses on line to be certain that students will however be ready to examine at dwelling.

In the United States, additional than two hundred universities canceled in-particular person courses and moved on line.

Asian countries are also enduring a comparable trend.

In Southeast Asia, numerous colleges have been closed amid the worsening case of COVID 19 in the area, and several universities shifted in-particular person courses to on line mastering as an effort to restrict additional transmission of the pathogen.

This unexpected adjust to on line teachings has elevated problem between several instructors and professors in Southeast Asia. Even nevertheless the entire world has develop into hyper-connected and internet penetration continue on to increase just about every 12 months, in Southeast Asia like in several other creating locations, a massive section of the population you should not have access to the World wide web and electronic products.

Electronic divide in Southeast Asia

The term “electronic divide” has been utilised to define a hole in access to or use of World wide web products.

If we’re seeking at the World wide web penetration in our area, only a few countries have around eighty% World wide web penetration, with Singapore main the figures, followed by Brunei and Malaysia.

For countries like Indonesia, the most populous nation in the area, only fifty six%, with only 150 million of its 268 million population have access to the World wide web. Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam also have considerably less than 60% World wide web penetration, with 57%, 39%, 38% respectively in 2019.

When figures present greater penetration just about every 12 months, several individuals in Southeast Asia however can not afford to pay for unrestricted and stable World wide web relationship. Even individuals with access to the World wide web experience some infrastructural divide.

We can see the infrastructural hole through numerous situations, like the discrepancy of World wide web speeds in diverse locations.

Persons in the metropolis centres generally get pleasure from substantially more rapidly World wide web compared to all those residing in considerably less designed spots.

For example, in Kuala Lumpur, individuals are enjoying higher-velocity World wide web up to 800 megabytes per next. At the exact same time, in Sarawak (East Malaysia) velocity is significantly slower, with some spots in the point out do not have any access to World wide web support.

When it comes to on line courses, this discrepancy will influence students’ access to instruction.

UNESCO just lately observed that university closures in Asia owing to coronavirus have place hundreds of thousands of young children slipping guiding in instruction as courses shift on line.

Lack of internet access in Southeast Asia poses challenges for students to study online amid COVID-19 pandemic
Things to take into consideration for on line teachings by writer.

Worries on on line teachings

I tried to seem at any insurance policies similar to university shutdowns and pandemic in Southeast Asia. I unsuccessful to uncover a coverage on on line educating apart from existing e-mastering insurance policies for universities.

Most universities in Indonesia’s most populated island Java have absent on line next the COVID-19 outbreak.

When universities may vacation resort to on line courses, most colleges in most important and secondary ranges in Indonesia do not have the means and infrastructure to go on line, forcing these students to examine at dwelling on their have.

In Malaysia, the governing administration has instructed the closures of all colleges, universities and schools from March eighteen to 31 as an effort to include the distribute of coronavirus in the nation.

Universities and universities in other Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines are adopting and contemplating the exact same method.

Even when on line access is there, some issues persist.

As a creating area, in Southeast Asia, several students are from economically vulnerable people. Their access to computers are limited to university-presented computer system labs, and several do not have access to unrestricted World wide web on their mobile products.

I request my students in Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia about the options of obtaining on line courses owing to coronavirus.

Some from East Malaysia were apprehensive that their World wide web relationship would not suffice to help on line mastering.

Several elevated considerations about the top quality of mastering experience and the fears around the accessibility of paid software program when performing off-campus.

My buddies who teach elementary and higher colleges said some of their students you should not have access to the World wide web, creating them unable to be part of on line mastering.

Other colleges and universities in other countries in Southeast Asia may confront comparable issues, or likely even worse as they undergo from additional important electronic divides.


Governments in Southeast Asia will have to address numerous problems when it comes to building a far better action prepare to guarantee all students are very well taken care of should really one more pandemic takes place in the upcoming.

These problems incorporate guaranteeing students’ access to appropriate products and stable internet connections. Yet another thing is to be certain they can allocate time to get the job done on their lessons, contemplating they are not in university, and experiencing a lot of interruptions at dwelling.

If they do not fulfil any of these, we have to make sure that we can provide sufficient help to be certain students will be ready to partake in the lesson sooner or later.

Pandemic exposes ‘digital divide’ as colleges, workplaces near

Presented by
The Conversation

This report is republished from The Conversation below a Creative Commons license. Read through the unique report.The Conversation

Lack of internet access in Southeast Asia poses issues for students to examine on line amid COVID-19 pandemic (2020, March seventeen)
retrieved eighteen March 2020

This document is issue to copyright. Aside from any fair dealing for the reason of private examine or investigation, no
component may be reproduced without the need of the published authorization. The content is presented for information and facts functions only.