As School Pushes for Online Education, Grandma Struggles to Buy Phone for Grandson

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, schools push for online education as opposed to face-to-face learning in schools. But this leads to many challenges, particularly for those who can’t afford to buy the gadgets needed for the classes as well as pay for internet connection, yet still want their children to be in school.

In Rattanaburi, Thailand, a poor grandma went to a mall to buy a smartphone for her grandson because he needs it for school. With just 2,000 Baht ($63 or Php3,200), the grandma asked Vivo Smartphone shop assistant Jatupol Boriboon whether she could buy something for that amount. Sadly, the shop does not offer anything within that range that the old woman can buy.

According to Boriboon, the old lady tried to bargain but there’s no use; they don’t have anything for that price. Boriboon suggested that the old lady try to get a postpaid plan so she can have the smartphone for a cheaper price, but they now face another challenge of how she can be approved for the plan and how she can pay for the monthly bill.

Photo credit: Jatupol Boriboon / Facebook

Online learning is a great initiative but for kids who are from poor families, it is going to be very difficult. Most elementary school students do not have phones and now they have online classes which will burden quite a few parents,” Boriboon wrote.

The post quickly went viral, gaining over 172k shares and nearly 200k reactions. People agree with Boriboon, saying that education is important but amid this pandemic, it becomes an added burden to many people. It is especially troublesome to the poor who can’t even find something to eat but now have to face added expenses, if they want their kids to be in school…