Distance education in light of the Corona pandemic – content and perception –
التعليم عن بعد في ظل جائحة كورونا – التصور والمضمون-
Dr Hafidha Sabeg, Algeria University of Khenchela
د. حفيظة سابق (جامعة خنشلة، الجزائر)
مقال منشور في مجلة جيل الدراسات السياسية والعلاقات الدولية العدد 33 الصفحة 103.
تلى تفشي فيروس كورونا المستجد الذي أصاب العالم كافة، العديد من الأزمات في شتى مجالات الحياة، بأن أصبح الإنسان المتضرر الأكبر في ظل تسجيل معدلات وفيات فاقت الوضع الطبيعي، ما أدى إلى ضرورة التفكير في إيجاد حل توافقي بين أطراف المعادلة؛ ليصبح “التعليم عن بعد” التصور المستقطب من قبل مختلف شرائح المجتمع بهدف استمرارية التواصل مع هيئات و مؤسسات الدولة ، هذه الأخيرة التي تجاوبت مع الوضع السائد، خاصة بعد إدراج وسائط تعليمية و تقرير منصات رقمية بغية التواصل المقصود، على أمل تعميم العمل بهذا النمط عبر كامل القطاعات خاصة قطاع التعليم بمستوياته المختلفة.
الكلمات المفتاحية: التعليم عن بعد، الوسائط التعليمية، مؤسسات الدولة، المجتمع المدني.
the outbreak of the new Corona virus, which afflicted the whole world, was followed by many crises in various fields of life, with largest of records in death rates that exceeding all expectations, leading therefore to the need to think about finding a consensual solution between the parties to the equation; so «Distance education” is becoming the perception adopted by the various segments of society with the aim of continuing communication with state bodies and institutions, the latter have responded to the new situation, benefitting from of educational media and report on digital platforms with the to facilitate communication, hoping to generalizing this work approach throughout All sectors, especially the education sector at its various levels.
Key words: Distance education, educational media, state institutions, civil society.
The countries of the world are experiencing many crises varying from country to another, and despite the division of the world into developed and developing countries, the world today has become in a complete paralysis with a unified vision, as a result of the Corona-Covid 19- pandemic, which has prevented the possibility of familiar communication between different segments of society and thus destabilized the security and stability at the international and national level. What leads us to question the effectiveness of distance education applied by some institutions and its impact at both the international and local levelsAnd we will try, through our modest study, to research the contents of distance education following the following pattern:
The first topic: The concept of distance education
First requirement: The definition of distance education
Second requirement: The objectives of distance education
The second topic: The reality of distance education at the international and local level
First requirement: Distance education at the international level
The second requirement: Distance education at the local level
The first topic: The concept of distance education
It should be emphasized that education, as a unit of education to which the different segments of society aspire, constitutes a legitimate demand and right, since it is constitutionally classified in what has been called “fundamental rights and public freedoms”, which find their foundation in various constitutions similar to those of the Algerian Republic;In the sense that education is a constitutional right for all and that it is free and for life. It is a general ecology in which knowledge transcends and spreads to be accessible to all, and the State must take care of it and improve its quality by organizing a solid national educational system that will benefit future generations
In the light of these data that have produced the concept of education in general, we must investigate the content of the idea of “distance education” as a method of learning in the context of the virtual world.
First requirement: the definition of distance education
There are many definitions of the term “distance learning”, which is due – from the researcher’s point of view – to the circumstances and variables that forced the adoption of this model – especially in light of the epidemic of the deadly Corona virus – Covid 19 – on the one hand, and on the other hand that is part of the contemporary global developments imposed by the world of softwares in light of the technological evolution
Some jurisprudence defines “distance education” as a modern form of education that does not require the continuous presence of the student at the educational institution, but the communication is through various educational media. While another aspect of jurisprudence considers it as an education that gives different types of studies affecting all educational levels away from the traditional real interaction between teacher and student through the organizations of guidance and education, which contributes to the acquisition of skills by organizing and activating the components of distance education administratively and technically, in order to produce high quality educational material for the benefit of learners and wherever they are.
For its part, the UNESCO regional office in Asia and the Pacific said in a report that distance learning is the organized use of print and other media, which must be well prepared in order to build bridges of communication between geographically separated learners and teachers, while retaining the fact that teachers provide academic materials to learners and help them acquire comprehensive knowledge.
It seems, through the definitions presented above, that the term “distance learning” is a flexible term far from ambiguous, especially in the age of technology and the flow of the Internet,In order to ensure this level of perception, we examine the common characteristics among these definitions, perhaps the most important1 of which are:
Distance learning or e-learning and other similar terms with the same meaning are based on the fact that the communication process between the teacher and the students takes place in an indirect way; in other words, there is no room to talk about the direct style (face to face) that characterizes the traditional style of education
The different educational media (platforms, networks, etc.) available through various means of communication constitute the main common ground between teachers and learners.
Scientific material is provided electronically; that is, using the various educational media, which subsequently constitute an essential source par excellence from which researchers can benefit regardless of time and place of their presence.
From this, it is clear that the distance learning system is based on the idea of separating the teacher and the learner in a sound educational system, using the various means of communication available in the light of the openness to the world of modern technology. Distance learning thus reverses the idea of traditional education
Second requirement: the objectives of distance education
On the one hand, jurisprudence considers that “distance learning”, as a virtual learning method, eliminates the problem of physical distances that burden the teacher and the learner, on the other hand, it would activate participatory work through the prospective exchange between teachers, students and even researchers, activating the means of communication and different communication networks (such as telephones, telexes, computers) and other wired or wireless devices, regardless of their geographical location, Thus, overcoming the various problems and obstacles faced by individuals at different age levels in traditional education, which has led to a number of justifications that prevent the student from enrolling in this type of education, perhaps the most important are:
– Psychological justifications: Despite the advantages achieved by the group education system, this does not prevent the existence of barriers for some students, especially those related to hearing or physical disabilities, which prevent them from enrolling in traditional educational centers.
– Geographical justifications: mainly represented by the distances the student travels to reach traditional universities, such as being in desert or remote areas, which makes it difficult to access the targeted institutions.
–Economic justifications: the high cost of traditional education is a barrier for many members of society, which leads to preventing them from enrolling in classical education, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the difficulty of providing infrastructure for traditional schools by the authorities.
–Cultural and social justifications: when modern social challenges have imposed new models on the social environment to keep up with global technological development, including: – The adoption of advanced individual educational methods, especially in light of the trend towards individualism where the individual has become self-centered.
-To carry out literacy and adult education programs within the framework of social and cultural development on the one hand, and on the other hand, to use the cultural literacy method to approach new civilizational concepts through explanation and clarification, such as the use of computers
-The growing reality of learning among employees and workers to improve their level of performance in the jobs they hold and to acquire new skills.
– The emergence of the active role of women and their participation in various jobs and professions.
The second topic: the reality of distance education at the international and local level
Distance learning or e-learning is classified – according to some studies – as one of the latest educational innovations on the threshold of the third millennium, which is living in a changing world, a situation that has made virtual university learning a reality that many modern universities, take pride in following the distance learning model, especially under the varying variables,
However, the rapidly evolving uses of electronic technology will move the next phase from wired e-learning to electronic systems using wireless communications, which have begun to be used in e-learning via a laptop computer or mobile learning (mobile university),This leads us to question the management methods of this type of education, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the need to identify the most important sectors that have followed and applied the distance learning system, whether at the international level (a first requirement), or the local level (a second requirement).
First requirement: distance learning at the international level Eastern Europe adopted distance learning in 1950 and applied it in private and commercial educational institutes in the United States of America and Great Britain. With the development of technology, universities used to display printed materials, following the method of audio recording and the use of radio and television as in Japan since 1945 at the secondary and university levels.
In accordance with the development of Japan, the “University on the Air” was established in 1963 as an independent institution in charge of organizing studies and sending study programs by radio and television according to the level and age of students, distributing the centers which have radio and television available in different regions, and making efforts to prepare lectures and seminars during the students’ stay in these educational centers.
The British Open University – which was established in 1968 as the second largest university in Britain after the University of London – has played a leading and pioneering role in the use of distance learning at the university stage. Its publications have spread throughout the world, following different methods of conducting the educational process, followed by Germany in 1969, and Canada is one of the countries that have benefited from modern technology in order to expand education to the general public through the use of various computer and multimedia.
It is noted that the first uses of the distance learning model are in the education sector, the latter, which is considered one of the priorities of institution building for each country, in accordance with the adage “today’s child is tomorrow’s man”, in order to ensure the realization of sustainable human development, and it was applied for a long time at the international level, it then developed with the development of modern technology and digitization by using contemporary technologies and means of communication.
The second requirement: distance education at the local level
In accordance with the sanitary conditions that the world and our country are experiencing, due to the Corona pandemic and in order to adapt to this critical epidemiological situation, the Algerian Republic has rushed to take a number of preventive measures, and a series of measures to carry out various matters and studies, and to complete this, the higher education sector has recorded a solidary approach par excellence, in an effort to achieve the pursuit of the strategic work of the sector, regardless of the circumstances. Indeed, it resulted in the adoption of the “distance learning” scheme, to ensure the completion of the academic season 2020-2021, since various platforms and educational floors were opened as part of the modernization and digitization of the sector, which resulted in the establishment of many decrees and decisions related to the subject in light of the exacerbation of the pandemic, including:
Ministerial Correspondence No. 288 of February 29, 2020, containing the preparation of the content of lessons, tutorials and their placement on the institution platform (moodle3)
Ministerial Correspondence No. 670 of May 21, 2020, containing the preventive measures against COVID-19.
Ministerial Decision No. 055 of January 21, 2021, specifying the exceptional provisions authorized in terms of pedagogical organization and management, evaluation and transportation of students during the COVID-19 period, for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The efforts of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, through its various agencies and services, are still continuing in light of the outbreak of the pandemic, which has led to the opening of an electronic portal for distance enrollment of students who have passed the baccalaureate for the year 2021, and thus inevitably contribute to the achievement of sustainable educational development.
This is due to the link between the style of “distance learning” and the philosophy of continuing education, not for the sake of education only, but for the sake of education and development together to meet the demands, needs and skills that emerge day after day in various areas of educational and practical life, using different educational media via the Internet and other means of communication, regardless of geographical location.
Through the above on the model of distance education, we conclude that distance education has coincided with the modernization of the educational system, using the Internet and openness to modern global technology, in light of the shortcomings noticed in the traditional educational system and its inability to meet the social, economic and other needs. Especially during the current epidemic period. Contemporary modern trends in education have classified the system of “distance education” into three levels; the first level is open education, the second is cooperative education, and the third level is virtual education, and explained as follows:
– Open education: This is mass education based on the principle of the right of all members of the human community to have access to available educational opportunities to learn any subject, regardless of its type.
Open education rests on two basic principles: choice and control for the learner, since freedom means the freedom for the learner to choose what he or she learns when he or she learns, and how he or she learns. Control means self-control, as each learner is responsible for his or her own learning.
Cooperative education: The history of cooperative education goes back to the nineteenth century, when cooperatives were organized within institutions to train their employees, such as the house of Westing, 1888 and General Electric.
And this type of education has become at the pace of the distance learning style, and the centralization of training organizations, and development departments, to reach universities and business schools on the network. Line Business School or profit on.
– Virtual education: It is an education that relies on the latest pedagogical innovations, and relies mainly on the Internet in teaching, the virtual university being considered as the university that establishes its campus on the network.
The virtual university differs from the Open University; the education in the virtual university is obtained through access to electronic programs (virtual classrooms, electronic libraries – virtual – electronic services, etc.), while the programs of the open education are obtained through videos and other equipment provided by the traditional university.
Virtual learning is divided into two types: the first is called instant communication (synchronous) in the classroom, and the discussion session takes place between the professor and students through the message board, while the second type is represented in self-learning (asynchronous) and is characterized by the absence of schedules or appointments linking the student to his university, as he can communicate at any time he wants and from any computer to read the lectures and questions addressed to him and exchange views with instructors ,through different educational media and platforms.
Through the above on the theme of “distance education” and coinciding with the epidemiological situation that our country is experiencing as a result of the “Corona pandemic”; Whether at the international or local (internal) level, we emphasize the need to monitor the contemporary situation of information, to face the global challenges, especially in light of recent crises and complex changes (the Corona pandemic) that prevent the ability to communicate normally, which led us to come up with two results:
– Adopting a modern method in line with the modernization of the technological information system, as it has been called; “distance education” as a civilized technical method to implement the state policy and direct it in a rational and sound manner, this from one angle, and from another angle, it contributes to the development of the cognitive abilities of the different segments of society, regardless of their geographical location, with the aim of achieving a sustainable educational development
– The activation of mechanisms and means of distance learning as an initial step by various state institutions, especially the University of Higher Education and Scientific Research, opening digital platforms that allow continuous communication between the staff of this academic family from one angle, and from another angle, a network of distance communication was expanded with the aim of disseminating science and knowledge, especially that related to meetings and conferences, through online conferencing technology.
And in the context of the above results, what we propose as a concept is to reconsider the educational system, through:
– Generalizing the adoption of “distance education” pattern, to include all levels of education, starting from the early stages of education, in order to prepare students to acquire extensive skills and experience in the software world, even if done gradually.
– Opening remote training courses to simplify the work by “distance education” style by explaining some of the techniques related to the topic, giving detailed models about delivering a specific educational material through various educational media, which requires activating Internet speed
– In a prospective vision, we hope that the hybrid method will be adopted in the education sector, which is a mixed system between distance learning and face-to-face teaching.
The latter, whose usefulness remains, especially through the language of effective dialogue between the teacher and students face to face, and thus covering most of the questions that cross the student’s mind
But all this with the need to strengthen preventive measures in educational institutions and make it a priority, especially in case the epidemiological situation – Covid 19 – continues, because it is a great danger to human life, according to the word of God – the Almighty: “Whoever wrongly killed a soul or corrupted On earth, it is as if he killed all people, and whoever saveda life, it is as if he saved all people.” (Verse 32, Surah Al-Maidah).
List of sources and references:
First, the list of sources:
The Constitution of the Republic of Algeria for the year 2020, issued by Presidential Decree No. 20-442 of September 30, 2020, related to the issuance of the constitutional amendment, approved in the referendum of November 1, 2020 (JR No. 82 of September 30, 2020).
Second: List of references:
References in Arabic:
Bakr Abdel-Gawad, Reading in Distance Education, Dar Al-Wafa for Printing and Publishing, Alexandria, 2000.
BouGharib, Aida Abbas, Open Education and Distance Learning in the Arab World, Reality and the Future, Series of Publications of the Arab Network for Open Education and Distance Learning, Jordan, 2004.
JeroDakhil Hassan, “Information Technology and Distance Education”, the Arab Seminar on Technical Education by Distance Learning, Al-Quds Open University, Amman, 1998.
Salama Abdel-Hafiz, Communication and Educational Technology, Dar Al-Yazawi, Amman.
Amer Tariq Abdel Raouf, Distance and Open Education, Amman, Dar Al Yazouri, 2007.
McKenzie Norman, Open Education – Systems and Problems in Post-Secondary Education, translated by SalehAzab, Publications of the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science, Baghdad, 1986.
Muhammad Atta Madani, Distance Learning – Its Objectives, Foundations and Scientific Applications -, 1st Edition, Jordan, Dar Al Masirah for Publishing, Distribution and Printing, 2007.
Mardan Najm Al-Din, from university e-learning to mobile education, “The Second Scientific Conference on Virtual Education and Distance Learning”, Amman.
Nashwan Yaqoub Hussein, Education in the Arab World in the Twenty-first Century, Gaza.
Elias Taha Al-Hajj, Modern trends of the establishment of the popular university in the Arab world and their justifications, “The Symposium on the Possibility of Establishing the Arab Open University”, publications of the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science, Baghdad, 1981.
2/References in foreign language:
Bomsded, (B). & Feldman, (B). (2003) “Gants pocket University: Mobil Learning in Distance Education- Technology” Learning new letters, V o1.5, Issue 2. April, J.L, Eccles, R.G. 7.
Race, P, (1989), the Open Learning Handbook, London, Kogan Page Ltd.
Abu Saada, and Dawah Muhammad, distance education and its role in contributing to solving the problem of assimilation in basic education in Egypt, Journal of the College of Education, Al-Azhar University, No. 19, Cairo, 1991.
Helou Hassan Darwish, and the narrator Nabil Ismail, The Evolution of the Philosophy of Distance Education and Unlimited Time and Place, Al-Mansour Magazine, Issue 4, Baghdad, 2002.
 See, for example, Article: 65/F1 of the 2020 Constitution, which states: “The right to education and education is guaranteed, and the state constantly strives to improve their quality.”
 Abu Saada, and Dawah Muhammad, distance education and its role in contributing to solving the problem of assimilation in the stage of basic education in Egypt, Journal of the College of Education, Al-Azhar University, No. 19, Cairo, 1991, p. 153.
Amer Tariq Abdel-Raouf, Distance and Open Education, Amman, Dar Al-Yazuri, 2007, p. 19.
Quoted from: Muhammad Atta Madani, Distance Learning – Its Objectives, Foundations and Scientific pplications -, 1st Edition, Jordan, Dar Al Masirah for Publishing, Distribution and Printing, 2007, p. 16.
 For details, see: NashwanYaqoub Hussein, Education in the Arab World in the Twenty-first Century, Gaza, p. 123.
MardanNajm Al-Din, From university e-learning to mobile education, the Second Scientific Conference on Virtual Education and Distance Education, Amman, p. 88.
Bomsded , B. & Feldman, B. (2003) « Gants pocket University: Mobil Learning in Distance Education- Technology » Learning new letters, V o1.5, Issue 2. April, J.L, Eccles, R.G.7.
 McKenzie Norman, Open Education – Systems and Problems in Post-Secondary Education, translated by SalehAzab, Publications of the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science, Baghdad, 1986, p. 22.
Elias Taha Al-Hajj, Modern trends of the establishment of the popular university in the Arab world and its justifications, “The Symposium on the Possibility of Establishing the Arab Open University”, Publications of the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science, Baghdad, 1981, p. 179.
JerioDakhil Hassan, “Information Technology and Distance Education”, the Arab Seminar on Technical Education by Distance Learning, Al-Quds Open University, Amman, 1998, p. 4 and beyond
Despite the recentness of this epidemic, most international studies such as the World Health Organization indicate that this virus is rapidly spreading, transmitted from one person to another through droplets emitted from the nose or mouth when coughing or sneezing and other means of human contact
The digital platform “Moodle” ranks among the most important electronic systems in the world of software and digitization, as it enables the exchange of information and lessons remotely between professors and students within the framework of modernizing and digitizing the higher education sector.
Quoted from: Bakr Abdel-Gawad, Reading in Distance Education, Dar Al-Wafa for Printing and Publishing, Alexandria, 2000.
Salama Abdel Hafez, Communication and Educational Technology, Dar Al-Yazawi, Amman, p. 240.
 Race, P,(1989), The Open Learning Handbook, London, Kogan Page Ltd