Digital learning for disadvantaged students during COVID-19

Perceptions of teachers in Hungary’s after-school programmes


  • József Balázs Fejes University of Szeged, Institute of Education
  • Norbert Szűcs

Abstract Views: 139 PDF Downloads: 62


digital learning, disadvantaged students, after-school programme, COVID-19


The digital learning instituted in Hungary in the spring of 2020 to halt the spread of the coronavirus there arguably encountered stumbling blocks as regards disadvantaged students. However, we have no information about the details, and mitigating these disadvantages is therefore fraught. The aim of our research is to shed light on the experience of digital learning among disadvantaged students.

We analysed responses to an online questionnaire completed by teachers at 48 of Hungary’s after-school programmes (ASPs) who were in contact with over 1000, mostly disadvantaged children. We discussed the questionnaire-based analysis with ten ASP representatives in online workshops.

In addition to ICT devices and Internet access, the lack of a learning space is also worth considering in promoting the establishment of objective conditions. In maintaining contact with parents, it is recommended that communication habits that differ from those of the middle class should be taken into account. Developing time management and other skills necessary for independent learning (e.g. reading comprehension, digital literacy) as well as alleviating the psychological burden represent a central task in similar situations. Our recommendations may be of use in the event of future school closures and in terms of facilitating digital learning among disadvantaged students.