Learning During The Pandemic: Student’s Stories in Oberschule 76 Dresden

Many things happened and changed during the Corona pandemic. Lockdown was a policy which implemented by the governments in many countries including Germany. This step was necessary to minimise the transmission of the virus.

Dresden, the capital city of Saxony, Germany was also struggling during the lockdown. The school closures was a big shock for students, teachers, parents and school‘s managemen. Everything hast to be changed into online in a short time. What happened in those times?, we collected opinions and comments from Oberschule 76 Dresden students through discussion and workshop. We disscussed three topics in a fun way and have a very interesting ice breaking and self-reflection in the beginning.

From self-reflection, we recognise that the students have a mixed feeling during the schools closures. They are happy because they could stay at home, but in the other side, they were very struggling in the online learning and less learning support. There were many students that the parents also strunggle to look after the family while working from home. Psychological condition is also disturbed because there were some time not allowed to leave the house, But the students can still found the positive thing, for example they realized that they have more time to be together with the family, to do their hobby and to learn something they are passionate about.

How was the government‘s support during COVID-pandemic ?

The students class 9 think that there were positive actions from the government during the Covid-pandemic to tackle the spread of the virus, e.g. Mask requirement, Hygiene regulations, Flight ban and Halving classes. They also realized that they have more free time and have more autonomy in learning. On the other side, they felt negatives feeling when the regulations Applied. They were overwhelming with many regulations at once. The mixed aspects which were found such as:

•          Mask obligation basically good, but many ignored it

•          Hygiene regulations good, but poorly implemented

•          More free time, but thus carelessness/no learning structure

Whereas students in grade 7 saw that there was detection of political misconduct. There was many sudden regulation such as school closures, rapid vaccine development and distance regulation which actually good to reduce the spread of viruses. The mixed and negative aspect also come up in this discussion theme e.g. the compulsory masks partly sensible and closure of shops was good for pandemic control, but also challenging for the community and bussiness actors. The students think that restrictions on some things were so disturbing. For example, restriction during gathering and travelling.

How was the school management‘s support during school closures?

Students in 9 grade perceive that the school policy is good. School management was trying to find alternatives to teaching and learning that can be carried out during the pandemic, but in the implementation was not as easy as one might think. Some mixed aspects also found during the discussion for example, some teachers overreacted to the implementation of the regulations, Some assignments were confusing and partly teachers could not handle LernSax/technology.

In the 7 grade group discussion, students think that it was good to learn from home, because they did not need to see the teachers, there were frequent cancellation of lessons as well and they learned more to use the technology. In the mixed aspect, there was an argument that the Lernsax (Learning platform) is actually good but the teachers did not get used to it and need more training. No contact with teachers/ poor communication was the big problem during the lockdown. The students felt no learning progress in lockdown.

How was parents’ support and private life during COVID-pandemic ?

Some of the students in 9 grade felt alone during the lockdown and had no support from their parents, because the parents were also struggling with work from home. Others thought that there were many time with family, the parents sometimes gave a good support, they felt that they were more independence and have time for their hobbys. Some mixed and negative aspects are found as well during the discussion. i.e. There was lack of motivation, Own time management partly problematic, Boredom and generally exhausting.

Compare to students in grade 9, the students in 7 grade had more time with the family during online learning. In general, they got a good support as well from their parents. The lessons were also easier in the lock down according to their opinion. However, the internet connection was sometimes challenging. Fewer tasks were given out, but there was a lack of explanation by teachers in some cases. Negative aspects were also discussed. The result was more or less similar with the first workshop. Most of the students felt lonely and less of self-confidence. Problems with technology are also experienced by some students. In general, the students have no motivation and boredom.