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Covid-19 pandemic has thrown education around the world in a loop

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today

Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on education.  One of the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic has been the education sector. The closure of schools, colleges and universities around the world has affected over 87% of all the world’s students, according to a UNESCO report. Classes have been suspended and exams at different levels postponed.  The world today is facing the biggest public health risk which is leading to one of the largest and the quickest reorganization of the world order. By the end of March 2020, the epidemic had spread to over 185 countries and resulted in the closure of over 90 percent of all schools, colleges and universities impacting close to 1.38 billion students.

A multi-pronged strategy is necessary to manage the crisis and build a resilient education system in the long term. It is becoming more and more clear that this cross-border movement of students will take a beating at least for the next two to three years and will lead to a major financial risk for universities in these countries who are already under financial pressure.

Many parents will avoid sending students abroad for higher education due to high risk from the pandemic. Changing how we work and travel to be kinder to the planet — and ourselves — didn’t seem possible. But it turns out that change was well within reach.

The lockdown has generated uncertainty over the exam cycle. May be universities may face impact in terms of a slowdown in student internships and placements, lower fee collection that can create hurdles in managing the working capital. Major concern is that it can affect the paying capacity of several people in the private sector, which is catering to a sizeable section of the students in the country. Student counseling operations are also affected.

Another major concern is employment. Students those have completed their graduation may have fear in their minds of withdrawal of job offers from the corporate sector due to the current situation. Schools are shut, and students are stranded at home, with extremely limited contact with friends and virtually no physical activity, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic raging across the world. IB, A Levels, ICSE, CBSE all known and recognized boards have postponed or cancelled examinations. Likewise, top colleges like MIT, Harvard, Princeton have closed.

Teachers are unprepared for education.  Online learning is a special kind of methodology and not all teachers are good at it or at least not all of them were ready for this sudden transition from face to face learning to online learning.

Thus, most of the teachers are just conducting lectures on video platforms  which may not be real online learning in the absence of a dedicated online platform specifically designed for the purpose.

COVID-19 is impacting almost every sector of the economy. And, the education sector is no exception. Schools, colleges, and institutes are close even, and students are at home with the least contact with friends. All thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic seething over the world. Everything is virtual, with no physical movement. Schools, universities, institutes of all levels have deferred or dropped examinations.

Working from home is a great thing, in fact, it gives us the freedom to arrange our day just as we like it.  People should also adopt practical ways of getting work done during lockdown.

Solutions?

The global lockdown of education institutions is going to cause major (and likely unequal) interruption in students’ learning; disruptions in internal assessments; and the cancellation of public assessments for qualifications or their replacement by an inferior alternative.

What can be done to mitigate these negative impacts? Schools need resources to rebuild the loss in learning, once they open again. How these resources are used, and how to target the children who were especially hard hit, is an open question. Given the evidence of the importance of assessments for learning, schools should also consider postponing rather than skipping internal assessments. For new graduates, policies should support their entry to the labor market to avoid longer unemployment periods.

In the meantime, digital education has emerged as a clear winner during this pandemic around the world. We, at different universities and institutes in India, are also trying to teach our students by various online modes. And yes, several schools and even private coaching centers and music schools have entered into the business of online teaching.

Conclusion:

In this time of crisis, a well-rounded and effective educational practice is what is needed for the capacity-building of young minds. It will develop skills that will drive their employability, productivity, health, and well-being in the decades to come, and ensure the overall progress of the World

We can’t ignore that at this time of crisis effective educational practice is needed for the capacity-building of young minds. Central Government and State need to take some measures to ensure the overall progress in the country. Time never wait, this tough time will also pass. Till then stay safe, stay at home!

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