For Tarek Bumaza, MSc in Computer Science at the University of Lyon-1, not having a good internet connection might be almost a disgrace, but it is an experimental daily reality. “When the videoconference breaks down every ten minutes and I have to reconnect constantly, it is difficult to focus. trust. I have to be careful not to open too many tabs as much as I listen to the guru. “
This 21-year-old Algerian student considers himself lucky. His uncle pays him an unlimited 4G phone plan, ever since he laid his bags in Lyon. However, this is not sufficient to follow the courses in optimum conditions, since they have passed in the distance. Tarek Boumaza cannot subscribe to the internet receiver. “It would be about ten euros less on my food budget.” Identifies a person who has already had to give up his student job since the last imprisonment.
Since the start of the health crisis, the shift in online courses has shed light on a fact that was hitherto less apparent: the inequality of students with respect to computers and the Internet connection. Until now, students who couldn’t invest in computers without a Wi-Fi connection have found refuge in the university’s libraries. Today, their access is very limited.
There are not enough materials
According to a survey conducted by the Student Life Observatory this summer among 6,000 young people, 8% of respondents did not have a computer or tablet for “personal use” (however, most of them had a computer). Shared with other people). Additionally, only 64% of those surveyed indicated that they had a “good connection” to the Internet during their first reservation.
Another survey, conducted by the Association of Vice Presidents for Higher Education Digital in June 2020 among 43 institutions, for its part, is estimated at 1.5% of the share of students without a computer – that is, 30 thousand young people out of two million students.
Numbers could be much higher in some areas. At the University of Picardy Jules Verne, 14% of undergraduate students in educational sciences do not have a permanent connection to the Internet, notes Mikael Le Mintek, Lecturer in Educational Sciences. Picardy remains a rural area where internet coverage is not perfect, and its university welcomes many socially disadvantaged young people: “The accumulation of these factors can really hinder student learning,” He laments.
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