COVID-19 Pandemic and Challenges of Students for Alternative Learning at University Education in Nepal
The covid-19’s pandemic compelled the Government of Nepal to impose a lockdown to prevent its upsurge. It caused the social institutions, such as educational institutions to persist a closure. As the educational institutions remained closed for long-time, many schools/university postponed the traditional classroom education system. Consequently, it disturbed around nine million (8,796,624) school/university-students’ regular classroom learning in Nepal. Meanwhile, above 400,000 students deprived from pursuing higher education in Tribuwan University (TU), itself. As many educational institutions adopted the alternative approach (mostly the online classes) to continue teaching-learning, TU also opted the online approach to resume the classes. All students were expected to participate the online classes regularly, but the observation reveals above 65 percent of the total students were not attending the online classes. There could be various factors yielding the outcomes, but, the dominant causes were the de-facto of the students’ socio-economic circumstances. Thus, this paper examines the relationship between the factors of students’ socio-economic background and students’ experiences on online classes in TU. It also analyzes how the students’ particular socio-economic preferences differentiate the students’ experiences in online classes. Students’ experiences are collected through open-ended interviews with the respondents. In this study, the respondents represent a group of students pursuing higher education in Saraswati Multiple Campus (SMC), a constituent campus of TU. Results show that the command over socioeconomic resources determines the students being able to afford and access the available options of learning during the pandemic. Despite incorporating the experiences, it excludes the physical settings of the respondents during the interview (through Zooms, Viber, and WhatsApp). Thus, this study recommends further study for more generalizable findings.