Almost 1.6 billion children from 195 countries worldwide are not going to school. Blame the covid-19 pandemic for such a crisis. The virus is contagious and such measures are essential to contain the contagion. To reduce the impact of school closures, educational institutes are operating by channelizing homeschooling. Remote education with the help of technology has gripped the entire world. Online courses, electronic textbooks and video classes have affected the education system impacting over 60% of the students.
Covid-19 has shaken the education system
School, college and educational institutes need to be shut down to combat the Wuhan virus. But nationwide closures have shaken the entire system and affected millions of students worldwide. The World Bank that aims to reduce poverty and promoting sustainable development by increasing shared prosperity is currently providing its support to educational reforms to ensure the students find an optimal learning environment when they return back to the educational institute. Digital education has entered the scene, which was uncommon before the crisis started. The remote learning opportunity demands students to utilize technologies, but only 20% of the countries can afford the universal digital curriculum that’s required for teaching and learning.
To switch to online learning, students and their parents need, access to the internet, technology and the skill to utilize the technology. However, the sad news is that as per global estimates, only 826 million students have access to the internet, while almost 706 million do not have internet access. Again, 56 million students lack internet coverage by mobile networks. Without internet access, the families face a major disadvantage, especially where there are low income and high dropout rates.
Are educational institutes equipped for online learning?
Covid-19 was an unprecedented event. Most educational institutions find themselves in an uncomfortable position with e-learning. Teachers need to adapt themselves fast and switch their teaching methods and strategies. The centuries-old chalk and talk teaching model has been replaced by the internet. Training the teachers is the key to successful digital learning and it’s the need of the hour to find a way to properly integrating the pedagogical and technical skills in digital devices with instructions.
The ‘new normal’ in the educational sector has brought in a change. Although schools might reopen with strict measures implemented, but the use of technology has paved the way for e-learning. The learning has now become more innovative by welcoming digitalization. The covid-19 crisis definitely will have a lasting impact on the history of education.
Digital learning might prove to be more effective and innovative than the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ learning method. The educational goal of all countries might align with one-another and pave the way for cross-country, large-scale cooperation that circles around a common educational goal.
On the contrary, the digital divide can widen inequality. Since, e-learning depends heavily on the internet and the technologies used, countries need to buck-up and make education effective by providing greater access to the latest technologies and getting trained teachers into the educational scene.
Currently, the educational system is in a critical stage. Some prefer going back to the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ model of education, which there are others more interested in the hybrid formula of face-to-face and online classes. However, now is the time to wait for the pandemic to get over and follow how the situation progresses in the academic field!