Thousands of students pledged to participate in a strike on virtual learning that started yesterday.
School gates have been closed since April and learning moved online. While that hasn’t been a burden on families with resources, thousands of others have struggled to keep their children educated.
There are many students for whom just getting online is an epic undertaking. Adding to that, are reports of teachers taking their abusive impulses online, forcing students to obtain permission before drinking water and wear uniforms at home.
Fed up with the virtual classroom experience, activist group Bad Student has called on fellow students to ditch online learning altogether and demand a better and more inclusive learning experience.
Answering the call of a student-led campaign called ‘I’m fucking done with these online classes,” more than 7,000 students nationwide pledged to boycott lessons this week.
The campaign’s hashtag #IAmFuckingDoneWithOnlineClasses had been retweeted more than 1 million times at time of publication.
The group has also called for a better vaccine distribution and reduced workloads for both students and teachers, such as fewer lesson hours and assignments, so long as schools remain closed.
Not everyone supports the strike.
“This campaign isn’t a smart move. What do you expect to gain from this, it will be you [students] who suffer most,” Facebooker Natha commented on Bad Student’s announcement. “They won’t care if students miss a class or two. It’s you who will lose scores, and I don’t think it is practical to see everyone walk out in solidarity.”
Another commentator, Wachi Herns, expressed concern about how schools will put pressure on the teachers instead. “Teachers already struggle hard to deliver courses. Please spare some thoughts for them. Shouldn’t online classes be the best option when schools can’t open?”
“We are all victims of the system,” Bam, a student spokesperson for fromBad Student, said over the phone. “The campaign isn’t aimed at the teachers, schools, or any individuals. It’s the system that we want to strike down.”
When asked about the feasibility of the campaign, Bam, who only identified herself by her nickname, remained positive, encouraging students to recognize their collective power.
“You may think we are at the bottom of the pyramid, but when the foundation shakes, people at the top feel it. You might think it’s our [students] loss by boycotting classes, but the opposite is more likely. It’s within the government’s responsibilities to ensure everyone has access to education. When they fail to do that, it’s their loss.”
This article, Thousands of Thai students vow to ditch school to oppose virtual learning, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.