Lessons (to be) Learned? An Investigation of Online Learning during the COVID-19 School Closures in a Brunei Primary School
Keywords:COVID-19 pandemic, Digital literacy, Online learning, Teacher competency, Access to technology.
This study explores data gathered from Year 6 subject teachers and senior administrators at a public primary school in Brunei Darussalam regarding online learning and teaching, and the transformation challenges encountered when moving from classroom education to virtual-based learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. A mixed methods approach was used, and the findings revealed there was both student learning loss and gain in the 2020 primary national school assessment. Unequal access to technology deprived disadvantaged students while internet issues showed that students experienced slow connections and inadequate internet quotas for online learning. The most significant findings were that collegial support and collaboration helped to reduce teachers’ anxiety levels, and that having digital competence was advantageous in successfully implementing technological teaching methods to support and advance education. Parental involvement in their children’s education at home was equally important as in regular schooling. The limitations of this study were that the opinions of the senior administrators and subject teachers were based on their self-reflection on evaluation, analysis and action plan; furthermore, the mixed approach reduces direct comparison with other public primary schools. Such educational challenges facing students and teachers may lead to better understanding and future research and developments in improving educational systems.