By Nawara Fattahova
KUWAIT: As all schools and colleges have been closed in Kuwait due to the pandemic for months and learning is suspended till August, most colleges have shifted to online learning to avoid losing this semester. For some practical majors, this way of learning is not possible, but for many it has been successful. Kuwait Times spoke to some college students to gauge their opinion.
Ali, a student of business at Gulf University for Sciences and Technology (GUST), said online courses were something new for everyone at the university, including instructors and students. “It was a bit hard for everyone to keep up with everything, especially on such short notice. But thanks to our departments and our president, they made everything very clear and as easy as they could while maintaining the high quality of teaching,” he told Kuwait Times.
On the other hand, he thinks it is also stressful. “I think it is hard to manage. I prefer the traditional way of teaching due to the way information is conveyed. Online courses are not as effective as traditional teaching. I see the real problem in the way the student absorbs information. Also, the environment plays a big role as well. To sum up, online courses are easy and hard at the same time. Traditional learning is the most effective,” declared Ali.
Omar Al-Mansour, a student of aircraft maintenance engineering-avionics at the College of Aviation Technology (CAT), who enrolled in 2019, took the e-learning course as he is in the foundation year. Online learning is not available for other grades due to the practical aspect of the course, which can’t be done online.
Omar finds e-learning easy. “The academic year started smooth and easily, until we faced the pandemic that resulted in closing the college, which shifted to the e-learning system for the foundation year. I appreciate the efforts of the college’s administration to take this step and provide online learning. In general, I haven’t faced any complications in this online course, except that it needs intensive concentration,” he said.
“Communication with teachers and asking questions is easy. Also, the system of homework is easy, and I improved my skills in researching during this semester. This improved students’ knowledge, as they are depending on themselves more in searching for information. The teachers are very helpful after each lecture, and they arrange appointments for more questions and explanations using the same technology of e-learning. I hope e-learning is also applied in the next semesters to preserve the academic schedule and graduate on time without delay,” Omar added.
Afrah Al-Ajmi, also a student of aircraft maintenance engineering at CAT, agrees the online course is easy and a success. “It is a comfortable way of learning, especially since it saves time and we avoid the traffic on the streets. I’m not worried of the coming semester, and I’m ready to take the course whether it is online or traditional. The teacher taught me how to use this system, which is really easy,” she pointed out.