Update on 07 Jun, 22
Coronavirus is one of the harshest realities of the 21st century. The biggest effect of it is visible in the developed countries of the West and East alike. In New York and the UK, the schools have been closed for the entire year altogether. Not only the education system is suffering at the basic level of not being able to take classes and assignments, etc. The disparities and communication gap between the teachers and the students have increased manifold during this time, with negative balances outweighing the positive, or really is that the case?
The country has been under lockdown and the schools, workplaces, malls, restaurants, and every other public area has been closed down due to the pandemic, COVID-19. This has resulted in the fall of the economy and a fight for survival in various sectors including the education sector. The COVID-19 is a huge downturn for the world economy and we as a whole, the world economy, humanity in general, is heading towards a deep global recession.
The global lockdown of educational institutions will cause a major and unlikely interruption in the learning process of students, due to irregular classes, cancellation of examinations, an extension of holidays, etc. Being a health crisis, the effects of COVID-19 will only be under control once a cure is found for it. Till then, the sectors and fields will suffer. Educational institutes have, however, decided to cope with this new pandemic in a variety of ways.
The pandemic has introduced a new era of online teaching. The normal processes have all shifted online. Just like that, education has also shifted online. With teachers being encouraged to teach online, assignments are conducted online and examinations have also been conducted online. These things may look like short-term issues and may also have long-term impacts.
Even a short time in school is helpful in gaining a huge amount of experience and expertise. Skills are developed and concepts become clear. The students get to interact and learn in a controlled and disciplined environment. However, ever since the transition to online teaching, the students have had greater autonomy. This results in slower skill development. Lack of discipline and other factors that make a classroom different than the home will also result in lower speed in learning.
According to some critics, online teaching can not match the traditional teaching method of schools and educational institutes.
The impact on families is another major influence of the coronavirus. The families or parents influence their child’s learning in a very strong way. Since the child is at home all the time, while he or she is attending a lesson online, or even completing the assignments and tasks that have been assigned to him, the parents of the child tend to help out their young children, even if it means solving math questions, helping out on their reading skills, or any other way.
The help parents give may be fruitful, but it can also have negative impacts. The tasks which are meant for testing the knowledge of the children and the tasks which would help teachers understand the level of understanding the student has gained will not be accurate.
Some parents have taken this to the next level, and have decided to home-school their students. This is generally being practiced in the West with the majority population of parents homeschooling their kids at home. This has many positive effects, such as the link with learning for young students is not broken due to the pandemic. The older students will also keep themselves motivated while studying online and not let go of their studies altogether.
However, there are many negative effects of this as well, such as the availability of proper material. Not every academic material we see online is useful and accurate. The lack of professionalism in parents teaching may also be a barrier to effective learning for the students. Some parents are great teachers, but the majority may not have a solid idea of how to handle their kids in a learning environment.
They may teach concepts in a harder way than teachers would, for example. It might also pose a problem to teach your kids what they themselves might not understand.
The closure of schools and colleges and even universities have interrupted the normal functions of these institutes such as teaching, etc. But the examinations and assessments have also taken a hit since students are not allowed to come to school. The lockdown or closure coincides with the time of the year in which annual exams are generally conducted. Due to this, many exams have been postponed or canceled altogether. The internal assessments and other small-scale exams, which are the most important have also been suspended. Some students have, however, also benefited from this, as in Norway, for example, all current 10th-grade students will be awarded a 10th pass certificate without examinations. In India as well, some States have announced similar plans.
Apart from schools, the education sector also includes college-going and university students. Some unlucky graduate students, being in the final year of their degrees have witnessed interruptions in their regular teaching schedules, including their assessments, task sheets, projects, etc. The worst scenario for these young students will be that they will likely graduate in a world of post-depression or a major global economic recession. They may experience a hit on the entry-level salaries and perks, they will get.
In short, the schools and colleges have taken up the following measures due to the impact of COVID-19:
According to the QS and the research they conducted, 45% of the students have agreed that the coronavirus epidemic has changed their plans for studying abroad. 46% of students have decided to wait a year before taking admission to a university or college. 8% of students have canceled their study plans abroad, while 13% of students will search for a different country to study in. As evident from these numbers, the GDP and annual income the most attractive countries earn from students is also likely to take a hit this year.
50% of the responders for the QS survey have said that the coronavirus will have a major effect on the educational sector, and only 5% believed that the educational field will stand the test and no major change is evitable.
In the above section, we have noted The Impact Of COVID-19 On the Education Field. In this section, we will address the post-crisis scenario. How to improve Education after coronavirus? This question requires an in-depth analysis of the impacts both positive and negative, and how we can tackle them. The education sector is among the many sectors that have been majorly hit.
Once the crisis is over, schools and colleges will need to rebuild their resources. They will have to cope with the loss in learning, the loss of time, as they open once again.
Targeting students who have been the worst hit, for example, slow-paced learners, children who need special attention while learning, etc, need to be openly addressed and helped. Given the importance of examinations and tasks, the schools should not cancel their internal assessments and examinations, but rather postpone them instead.
The graduates that have been the worst hit, and who might face unemployment issues, should be helped, by way of policies and laws to help face the initial backflow of recession. This can also be done by providing employment bonuses to those that can not find any job opening in their field, etc.
An era of online learning as opposed to the century-based “lecture mode”, will be flourished with the advent of the post-corona world. This is a huge leap in the education field, where not only teachers but students as well, are not only becoming well-versed in technology but can start seeing technology as much more than Twitter, Facebook, etc. This can be one of the positive impacts of Coronavirus.
The partnership between the public and the private can grow and form an ideal approach to the discipline of public schools with the technology of the private sector. Using online methods and innovative processes to make students understand a concept through online resources while in a classroom can have very big positive impacts on not only the student's life but also the overall average grade of the schools.
In the end, it is all about resilience and the willpower to manage despite odds. CoronaVirus is a deadly pandemic and has stopped the wheels of the world, but once it passes away, the world will restart and maybe, hopefully, work a little more sustainably and efficiently.
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