MAPPING THE EXPERIENCES OF MOTHERS SUPPORTING THEIR PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN’S ONLINE LEARNING DURING COVID-19: THE CASE OF THE SOUTH SULAWESI REGION
Abstract - Understanding the impacts of COVID-19 and the disruptions caused by the shift to online and remote learning is an important and ongoing task, particularly for those communities where geographical, economic, and social factors may have accentuated the challenges. This study explored the experiences and struggles of mothers living in a rural area of Indonesia as they sought to support their primary school children’s education through online platforms. The aim of the study was to gain insights intothe kinds of problems mothers faced during the transition from offline to online learning during this pandemic, how they dealt with those problems, and what kind of support resources they were able to draw on at different stages of the pandemic. Utilizing qualitative research inquiry, we interviewed 30 mothers and 10 teachers in three different primary schools in the subdistrict of Parigi, District of Gowa, South Sulawesi Province. Preliminary findings suggest that among the sudden changes in many areas of their life, the most prominent one was the need for mothers to rapidly adapt to using unfamiliar technology so that their children could study from home. Becoming adept with these technologies was for many mothers made more difficult due to alimited access to resources, unfamiliarity with the learning requirements and procedures, their own limited prior education, and the ongoing struggles to keep their children engaged and focused on the learning while still attending to the pre-existing demands of their family and community responsibilities. These mothers also revealed that the support provided by government bodies was often not sufficient to meet their needs, which further stressed their reliance on family members to help reduce the burden of having to assist their children in online learning. These challenges all suggest that ongoing or future efforts to deliver online or hybrid learning will require significant preparation, resources and ongoing support.
Keywords - Online Learning, Remote Learning, Covid-19, Primary School Children, Mothers in Rural Areas.