The new school year in North Macedonia started on the 1st of October with a distance learning based on the national platform schools.mk where the pupils are able to see and hear the lectures of their teachers and professors. But, this way of teaching also posed new challenges both for the students and the teachers, and the whole educational system as well.

And the problems were evident just two weeks after the start of the new school year. While during the start there were complaints about technical issues, weak Internet connections, and overload of the national platform, now there are obvious misuses of the platform for distance learning on part of the students themselves.

In cooperation with the Instagram profile @studentarijamk, Meta.mk asked the students and pupils whether there are any misuses of the new teaching model during the lectures. The received answers from more pupils indicate various misuses, that in some cases border with the bizarre.

Part of the pupils state that online teaching is boring, so during the lecture on occasions they sometimes even slept.

That is everything but online teaching “, вели еден ученик.

Similar examples, although rarely, can be found among university students.

“I fall asleep during the online teaching, I have no concentration, the material seems abstract…,”said one of the students.

“During one online lecture, we could hear a student snoring. It was very loud“, said one of the students.

“I sleep during the lectures, while the laptop is turned on, and it signals to the professor that I’m attending the class”

schools.mk, Национална платформа за учење од далечина

Other pupils state that their peers during the lectures, while logged in to the platform, their attention is turned to more fun activities, such as playing virtual games. Some of the pupils were more creative, so they were entertaining the others with their “acts” on the learning platform.

“Out of 120 present on the platform, it turned out there were only 30.”

„During the online lectures we sit in front of the computer with the cameras and speakers turned off, so everyone does what they please.”

“During the class, the teacher is teaching, the pupils are turning off their cameras and are playing Among us (Game) on their phones.“

“There are classes when the pupils are sharing their screens showing they are playing games on their computers. Sometimes the teacher disappears completely from the class, and during that time a kid will appear that is playing accordion and is entertaining the rest.“

Online teaching is flexible, so not everyone is logged in from their homes.

“Once I attended classes from a pedal boat in the middle of the Ohrid Lake”, said one of the students.

Often the teachers or the pupils are intentionally removed by other pupils from the video call. The knowledgeable pupils have been misusing the technology to hide their lack of knowledge.

“They are removing students from the video call, they are playing Counter-Strike, LOL and other games during classes. If the professor asks them something and they don’t know the correct answer, they claim their microphone or camera is malfunctioning or are having problems with the internet connection”

Other pupils admit they go even further.

“I smoke cigarettes, while my brother mentioned he watched porn during the classes…Sheer madness” , said one female pupil.

online nastava
Glenn Carstens-Peters на Unsplash

Another pupil tried to explain that the online classes cannot be like those with physical attendance and that it is easier to lose concentration at home than at school. But she said that this is not a reason to misuse online teaching.

“It is normal when we are at home, ther attention cannot be directed to one thing only t.e. the lecture, but to at least five other things that are happening around us. When we are physically attending the class, the teacher can control better the ambiance and the students’ concentration, and that is why it has a better effect. During the online teaching, not everyone is conscientious about listening to the lecture, and they misuse it. Apart from that, the pupils aren’t motivated physically to move from their comfortable place in order to do another activity during the class. On the other hand, it is best to stay at home due to health concerns, and following classes and lectures are left up to the students, still, it is for them to gain knowledge,” said the pupil.

Despite the planned period for a gret recess and meals, part of the students eat while listening to the lectures. At some of the profiles intended for fun content on social networks often can be seen photographs of students as they brag with food in front of the laptop during classes or how they make fun of their professors or teachers.