Importance of Education: Effects Of Pandemic On Education Sector Introduction
We all are aware of the global pandemic COVID-19. It has affected the economies of almost every country. Education, which is very important for the development of nation, has been adversely affected by this pandemic. This suffering has also been categorized into the privileged students and non-privileged ones.
The privileged students are suffering as they do not have:
- Traditional face to face (f2f) classroom method
- Same peer pressure i.e. same environment for learning
- Connectivity issues
- Unfriendly e-learning platform
- Technological issues
Now while talking about non-privileged ones. They are the one who suffer the worst. According to a report by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a survey in which 7600 respondents participated, 72.60 percent of the respondents use mobile hotspot, 15 percent use home broadband, 9.68 percent use WiFi dongle and 1.85 percent have poor to no internet connectivity. Amongst the respondents who used home broadband,
- 3 percent-cable cuts,
- 53 percent – poor connectivity,
- 11.47 percent – power issues
- 32 percent – signal issues.
When it came to mobile hotspot,
- 40.18 percent – poor connectivity,
- 3.19 percent – power issues
- 56.63 percent – signal issues.
This is the need of the hour to ensure that each and every student gets the access to e-learning without any difficulty. Knowing the condition of employment and earning of the families, the schools and institutions should provide waiver on education. The collected funds must be used on providing universal internet for future emergencies.
Schools and institutions must encourage those platforms which can be operated on smartphones as well as laptops not only on laptops. First of all everybody can’t afford laptop which is a ground reality. Secondly if someone has a laptop but it requires some repairing then that laptop is also useless as during this lockdown period, getting a laptop repaired is not a cake walk.
Speaking of waivers to be provided by schools and institutions, the government should subsidize the higher education and provide funding for the schools to maintain their resources.
Looking at the current scenario of employment in the country, it is very essential that everyone gets the education in order to achieve some skills. Education and this pandemic have boosted the need of ideas for entrepreneurship which would be very helpful for an economy like ours to increase its pace in the global eyes.
Impact on education
The COVID-19 is a communicable disease which can spread through one person to another through physical contact like touch, saliva, etc. Almost every country around the world simultaneously implemented social distancing and self-isolation to stem the growth of COVID-19. This has led to closure of educational activities almost everywhere. More than 91% of the world’s student population has been impacted due to this lockdown. The United States which has the highest confirmed COVID-19 cases, has directed its citizens to follow social distancing. It is the second time when its citizens are directed to follow strict rules of social distancing and self-isolation. The same situation had happened during the 1918 flu pandemic. There is a national lockdown in the USA. The University of Washington closed on March 7 which was followed by the closure of more than a thousand colleges and canceled class which has affected millions of students of the country. (M.Billy, 2019).
Countries are encouraged by UNESCO in their efforts to mitigate the problems due to closures of schools and institutions, and for resuming all through e-learning. (UNESCO, 2020)
The Indonesian government has also taken many steps to stem the spread of Coronavirus. They introduced a circular of the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) of the Directorate of Higher Education No. 1 of 2020 to curb the evil effects of spreading of Covid-19 in tertiary institutions. The Ministry of Education and Culture circulated the circular with the guidelines for universities to conduct e-learning. Now more than 65 universities in Indonesia are functioning on the principles of e-learning.
As per WHO guidelines the activities, which can cause mass gathering, must be avoided in order to curb out the effects of pandemic caused by Corona virus.
Traditional teaching method or face-to-face (F2F) method requires students to gather n form a crowd. Therefore it was the need of the hour to encourage e- learning to curb out such conditions and maintain the principles of social distancing and self-isolation between the students and the teachers or among students or among teachers. Moore, Dickson-Deane, & Galyen (2011) formulated the opinion that Online learning is the only solution left in order to fulfill the educational needs and desires of students during this period of national lockdown. (S.R.Rehman, 2020)
Online learning can be done through both interactive and non-interactive e-learning platforms. They know that though these types of platforms are not available to each every student but it is the need of the hour to operate e-learning platforms and other resources. The prime concern is that learning should not be affected due to this national lockdown. Without teachers the target must be that the curriculum must be achieved. Here comes the roles of teachers who can teach their students about the life lessons and how to cope up with the struggles of life, especially during this pandemic of covid-19 like what is covid-19 or how does it spread or what preventive measures should be taken to maintain the principles of social distancing and self-isolation to stem the effects of covid-19. Thirdly the students must enjoy their classes otherwise now they have a very easy option of getting rid of classes which they find monotonous. Fourthly, the teachers should change the pattern of their assessment and must include the questions which include the quality of life or other life lessons. There are several platforms for remote earning where demands of learning can be fulfilled to a greater extent. Students who don’t have access to web, they can get their assignments through certain messaging app in their phone.
Impacts on students
- Effect on health: The study says that approximately 24.9% of students complained of anxiety issues because of this COVID-19 outbreak. COVID-19 has affected the economy, learning and daily lives of students which is directly proportional to the levels of anxiety. (L.Huang, 2020)
- E-learning: The study says that e-learning has taken over the traditional teaching method i.e. face to face (F2F) method. (Prevention., 2020)
- Access to technology: The study says that uneven access to technology or internet or connectivity issues have inhibited the learning of non-privileged students. Due to the worldwide lockdown, schools and colleges have adopted e-learning platforms to continue remote learning.
We have seen from all sources that almost every country is practicing e-learning methods in this condition of national lockdown to avoid forming crowds in order to respect social distancing and self-isolation. But this discriminated distribution of technology will lead to the suffering of non-privileged students. Just to fill this gap to some extent, as we have discussed earlier, schools and institutions must encourage those platforms which can be operated on smartphones as well as laptops not only on laptops. First of all everybody can’t afford laptop which is a ground reality. Secondly, if someone has a laptop but it requires some repairing then that laptop is also useless as during this lockdown period, getting a laptop repaired is not a cakewalk. Therefore we must ensure that almost all the students get the opportunity to learn the principle of universal internet should be followed with adopting of some user-friendly platforms for the continuation of the learning of the students.
- L.Huang, F. H. (2020). “Emotional responses and coping strategies of nurses and nursing college students during COVID-19 outbreak,”.
- M.Billy. (2019). “The Influence of Dynamic Organizations and the Application of Digital Innovations to educational institutions in the world during COVID-19.
- Prevention., U. C. (2020). ‘Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K12 schools.
- S.R.Rehman. (2020). “Pembelajaran Online di Tengah Pandemi Covid-19,”.
- UNESCO. (2020). ‘COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response’. .