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S. Korean schools to run online classes amid COVID-19 concerns Updated: 2020-03-31 17:10:55 KST

When it's time for the class to begin, the teacher turns on the webcam to face her students.
With COVID-19 fears still lingering, this is how schools in South Korea will start their new semester, through online classes.

"490 elementary, middle and high schools across the country have already begun test runs of their online classes. Students and teachers can give instant feedback by using real-time video conference platforms."

"Students' participation was better than I expected. Mid-April isn't far away, but with a couple of practice runs, I think it's enough time to make it possible to run online classes."

But there are still concerns over securing online platforms and adequate equipment for schools and students.
Attendance checks take longer than usual, and lectures are often disrupted by technical problems, such as video connection delays.

"Some students might not be in an environment that enables them to take online classes. Teachers may have the adequate equipment such as laptops, but some students have limited digital access. Another drawback is connection delays. It takes more time to communicate with students through online learning."

Schools that have been selected as test-run operators will report any problems to the education authorities after test runs of online classes throughout this week.
The government plans to take those issues into account when coming up with additional support measures, on top of making sure students have the smart devices they need so they can get the high quality education they deserve.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.
Reporter : jhee@arirang.com
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