Corona virus has until now affected almost every country in the world. Almost 70 lakh people have come under the grip of this deadly virus. Various sectors have felt the brunt of the virus like economy, oil and gas , social sector etc. There has been an affect on the educational systems worldwide. This has led to to the near-total closures of schools, universities and colleges. Also , there has been a huge impact of corona virus on students.
Almost all the governments around the world have temporarily closed down the schools , colleges and universities. As of 24 May 2020, approximately 1.725 billion students have felt the affect of pandemic due to school closures . 98.6% of the world’s student population have felt the impact. Schools of 10 countries are currently open. Closures of schools and colleges not only impact the students and teachers but also has various economic and societal consequences. Various issues have come to light like student debt, digital learning, homelessness , food insecurity , healthcare , housing etc.
In response, UNESCO recommended the use of distance learning programs and Open Educational Applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach the students. This could help reduce the impact of corona virus on students.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE IMPACT OF CORONA VIRUS ON STUDENTS IN INDIA?
On 16 March, India declared a countrywide lock-down of schools and colleges. On 19 March, the University Grants Commission asked universities to postpone exams till March 31. The board exams conducted by CBSE and ICSE boards stands postponed until March 31 at first and then later until July 1. There has also been a change in the dates of various competitive exams . This has left the students with no clue about when these would be conducted.
Nothing can be currently said regarding when the schools and colleges would open and when the student’s life would go back to normal. In India 286,376,216 students are enrolled for pre-primary to secondary education and 34,337,594 are enrolled for tertiary education.The speed of the spread of the epidemic, the closure of higher education institutions and the transition to online teaching was very swift. It hardly gave any time to plan and to reflect on the potential risks or the potential opportunities that such a sudden change could bring.
What exactly are the risks and opportunities brought about by Coronavirus?
Given the current situation , it is important to look at the impact corona virus has had on education , both positive and negative. It is also important to understand the impact it would have on the future. The closure of schools and colleges can have far-reaching social and economic impacts.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE IMPACT OF CORONA VIRUS ON STUDENTS?
- Postponement of all the major entrance exams like IIT JEE , NEET etc. This has been a cause of concern for various private universities etc. Further, the employees are also facing the heat due to fear of salary cuts etc.
- Due to the lock down , the uncertainty regarding the conduct of exams is looming high. There has been a slow down in the number of student internships and placements which impacts a students’ life to a great extent. There has also been lower fee collection which can create hurdles in managing the working capital.
- 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.
- The faculty hiring has temporarily stopped which in long-term can affect the quality and excellence in the field of education.
- There has been an affect on Teaching and Assessment methodologies due to the lock down.
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE OTHER NEGATIVE IMPACTS?
- Low-income private and government school may not be able to adopt online teaching methods. In addition to the opportunities for learning, students will also miss their meals and may result in economic and social stress.
- Corona virus has badly affected the Countries like US, Australia etc . There is a high chance that the demand among the students to study in the universities in these countries would reduce in the long-run.
- 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. Thus , Employment is also a concern among the students.
- The sudden shift to online learning without any planning — especially in countries like India . It has created the risk of most of our students becoming passive learners and they seem to be losing interest due to low levels of attention span.
- There is a risk that in such a situation, learning outcomes may not be achieved and it may be only resulting in engaging the students. This is because the teachers are not used to taking online classes in our country.
WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS TO REDUCE THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS CORONA VIRUS HAS HAD ON EDUCATION?
- The pandemic situation has created the necessity to explore the digital learning platforms.
- Distance learning programs can be provided for free for students who belong to low income groups and are not economically sound.
- Measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on job offers, internship programs, and research projects.
- Universities and colleges will shift to a model of blended learning . Hence , both face to face delivery along with an online model will become a norm
- A great opportunity will open up for those companies that have been developing and strengthening learning management systems.
- Faculty members/ teachers can deliver online courses to even students from competing institutions. Collaborations can also happen among faculty/teachers across the nation to benefit from each other.
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