The education system around the world is feeling the ripple effect of the novel coronavirus as with schools closed down due to the public health emergency. While health officials struggle to contain the number of outbreaks, the education systems have been given very little time to adapt to these unforeseen circumstances. Even the United Nations has emphasized on the unparalleled scale and speed of the educational disruption being caused by the coronavirus.
However, with every crisis comes challenges and opportunities for transformation. The past crises have indicated that it is possible to rebuild more robust education systems once all this is over. But before that, it’s imperative to take the challenges into account as well. Let’s ponder over some of those challenges.
- Lack of equity is prominent
In the last decade, there has been considerable progress in terms of the accessibility ofdevices and connectivity among the students. This has made online learning feasible.
At the same time, not every student has access to digital devices or internet connectivity at home. In the wake of the pandemic, it has become crucial to ensure that every student gets unfettered accessibilityto learning resources as well. This means that learning resources need to be available for the students who don’t have access to the resources. We still have to think of ways to reach out to them.
In the US, virtually every student comes from a privileged background has a computer to work. But nearly a quarter of those from disadvantaged background didn’t have access to technology. These divides are only going to worsen due to loss of jobs and the recession.
- Educators may be overwhelmed to do their jobs well
Initially, many teachers and professors took little notice of their schools closing and shifting to online learning, making things challenging for anybody. Amidst such situations, it’s possible for them to be overwhelmed with all sorts of materials and products that they have to deal with. In such situations, educators tend to push back and often need help filtering through all the resources to find the high-quality ones.
Also, teachers are like any of us; they are experiencing these new developments as mothers, fathers, aunts, and uncles. They are trying to deal with their lives and take care of the students under their aegis and find new ways to make sure that learning continues.
- Online learning may require teachers to adopt unfamiliar approaches
Many countries are shifting to online learning approaches, whether through distributing physical packets of materials for students or using technology to facilitate online learning. And there are real risks because many of these approaches can be tiresome when you’re just asking students to sit and quietly watch videos, read documents online, or click-through presentations. This becomes quite dull for the students.
Online learning promotes the worst kind of learning, i.e. to sit passively and listen. Now, this is the form in which most students will receive the lessons during school closures. It doesn’t serve anyone well, especially those who are already lagging in class.
- Causing delays in the admission or examination processes
School or college admissions and standardized testing are being delayed across the US. Some states have even decided to cancel standardized testing altogether. Some states have also considered extending the school year due to many missed days of school.
Classes and semesters are being delayed as teachers and educators adapt to the new online platforms and try to switch to a new teaching style. This involves learning how to use various online resources, deciphering how to convert hands-on learning materials or discussion-based classes to the new platforms. “The teachers also need to change their entire lesson plan if it doesn’t comply with the online platform”, suggests Hannah Simmons, an essay writer online from Allessaywriter.com.
- Concentration difficulties
Younger children with ADHD or other learning disabilities find it difficult to concentrate properly with online learning resources. Young children require the assistance of in-person interaction and may find it tough to focus in typical classes conducted through laptops or computers. Students with special needs, who are also dependent on in-person instructions, may find it particularly challenging to shift to online platforms.
These complexities may require a unique approach to online learning. It may also demand the extra assistance of parents as these students navigate a new educational paradigm.
While there are glaringly obvious concerns that the education system worldwide faces at the moment, it’d be wrong if we didn’t point out the silver lining.
- Blended learning approaches will be popular
It’s no secret that often the more engaging learning styles are interactive ones, and that face-to-face learning is better than online interactions. It’s also not a secret that blended learning approaches bring the best of both worlds. It’s also known to provide a better learning experience than face-to-face learning.
Teachers will now be encouraged to innovate and experiment more with these online tools as a result of all this.
- Collaboration among teachers will grow
Instead of recording a video with instructions, a teacher could find someone who has done that really well already. One of the most vital things teachers can do now is to draw on what others are doing – create an online community of teachers, share the burden, and make things easier for each other.
The COVID crisis has come as a deep and sudden shock, but it will be naïve to think that this would be the last one. To develop a healthy, prosperous, and secure future, we need to ensure school systems are adequately equipped, make optimal use of technology, and protect the teachers.
Author bio: Clara Smith is a visiting faculty for a reputed college from the United States. She has completed her Master’s degree from the University of Bridgeport. Atherton has worked in the domain of education for close to eight years and is an academic advisor for Allessaywriter.com. She’s helped many students get optimum essay help.