by Tenzing Chosang
In March the majority of California schools shut down due to the spread of Covid-19. Many school districts made the decision due to health official recommendations. Many students including me, haven’t stepped foot in a school since then and it looks like we won’t until vaccines are given to everyone. Even though we physically haven’t been able to go to school, districts have worked hard to create a distance learning program. Even though they have tried to level the playing field by providing computers, online tutoring, hotspots and etc, the disparity of learning between low income students and others is still drastic.
For most of my educational career I have never asked for school help from my parents. They grew up in India and didn’t have the privilege of receiving education. Students from first generation families, or uneducated families such as mine have to struggle with our school work by ourselves. They do not have the privilege of receiving academic support from their family members when they need it. This disparity has been occurring for a long time, it was not created by distance learning but has been even more of a struggle now.
Many students including myself begin our homework a few hours after school ends. When a student, including myself is struggling with their work, we have the option of emailing our teachers, but it’s difficult to explain in an email we need help on. On top of that teachers have their own families and outside responsibilities, so sometimes they don’t respond in time. This leaves the student helpless, and we can’t get mad at teachers because it is their free time. .
Those are just a few of the disadvantages low income students face due to distance learning. I decided to write about this, because a lot of students don’t notice the privileges they have when it comes to online school. I have heard a lot of my peers say they don’t want to go back to school, but they don’t understand how it disproportionately affects low income students. If we continue distance learning, these disparities will continue to increase.