Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020–2021 academic year at Fianarantsoa University: the use of Facebook as a mode to switch to online learning

  • Jocelyne Zafitsara College of Teacher Education, Department of Comparative Education, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, China
  • Njaratiana Mario Arthur Velo College of Teacher Education, Department of Comparative Education, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, China
Keywords: higher education, social network, Facebook, Facebook-enhanced online teaching and online learning, student engagement


This study analyses the impacts of the COVID-19 on teaching and learning at Fianarantsoa University (FU) in Madagascar. Interview questionnaires with 50 participants were carried out at the university concerned. Results demonstrate that FU took care of its students during the lockdown by introducing various measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the university. Distance learning via Gmail and Facebook, where teachers send course files to the mail group, was only found in certain parts of the colleges. Gmail was implemented to complete unfinished exams to avoid the White year. Controversial arguments were uncovered due to the complete cessation of teaching at the end of the distance exams without introducing alternatives to continue academic activities, though there are still three unfinished academic years. This study recommends the regular use of ‘Facebook’ as a device to shift to online teaching and learning, mainly if incidents occur that lead to academic disruption, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, national epidemic, natural catastrophe or others. Facebook is the most used platform in Madagascar, with 3.05 million users in early 2022.


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1It is named after the present tertiary education system. Kianja means venue; serasera= interact; LMD: the name of the present higher education system. So, it is a place to hold university events, a place for academic exchange, and a research area for teachers, students, and technical staff.

2Missed or interrupted academic year due to the issues or circumstances that happened at a respective University.
How to Cite
Zafitsara J., & Velo N. M. A. (2022). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020–2021 academic year at Fianarantsoa University: the use of Facebook as a mode to switch to online learning. Research in Learning Technology, 30.
Original Research Articles