Volume 12 Issue 4 (2023)

Online Learning Challenges Faced by SSC-Level Learners During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case of Pakistan

pp. 65-77  |  Published Online: November 2023  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2023.124.4

Shaista Noor and Filzah Md Isa


Background/purpose – The pandemic threatened education through two significant shocks: the closing of educational institutions across all levels and the financial recession. This overnight shift from face-to-face to an online mode of education became the reason for various physical, mental, and financial challenges faced by both learners and educators alike. This study investigates the perception of Secondary School Certificate (SSC-level) learners in Pakistan regarding online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Materials/methods – A qualitative research strategy was adopted, with semi-structured interviews conducted via Zoom with 15 SSC learners from renowned schools in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Pakistan. Structured inductive data analysis technique was adopted in the analysis of the collected data.

Results – The study’s results highlighted problems experienced by SSC-level learners in online classes via Zoom and Google Classroom. These related to technology, personal, and educator issues such as technical problems, adaptability struggles, computer literacy, lack of motivation, poor grades, inability to focus, homesickness, disorganization, skipping classes, failure to dedicate appropriate time to studies, technology shortages, poor sleep habits, lack of routine, power failures due to extreme weather, and uncertainty about the future and fear of SSC final exams.

Conclusion – This study will help policymakers from Pakistan’s Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education System to focus more on development, technology, communication, and support programs, especially for high school learners.

Keywords: learner, online, obstacles, SSC, Pakistan


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