Covid-19 – Effect on Schools
Effect of COVID-19 on Education – Henry Maris | Secretary, Nazareth Group of Institution
With the uncertainty surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19, the effect on education, needs to be checked and validated in order to find a way to steer through the situation. The world is going through a severe shock due to the health pandemic; its effect on the world economy is resulted in multi-dimensional context. The health sector is challenged with high demand of manpower, better resources, and sustainable health support system. With the central and state being lockdown, the manufacturing sector is going through a huge dip considering the recent slowdown on the manufacturing units. The service sectors, with “work from home” option is not sure of its sustenance of work as its whole financial inflow depends mostly on the western market. With every sector going through a rough patch, the effect of COVID-19 in education sector and its implication needs to be carefully reviewed and considered.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease cause by the newly discovered Coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has brought in an overview of this infectious disease, its symptoms and preventions. The outbreak as of 25th March 2020, of this disease is huge with more than 3,75,000 confirmed cases, 16,362 confirmed deaths over 190 plus countries is phenomenal. It is to be noted that the stages differ country to country. It is also uncertain how things would go in the next few weeks.
Education has been one of the key areas for all developed nations. The system of education has been going through tremendous changes in the recent years. The technology support in the field of education has become compulsory and inevitable. Many countries follow different academic year pattern. The countries like India, the schools under the state/central board of examination follow June to April as the academic schedule. As per the statistic of MHRD (for the year 2015-16), it is estimated that there are about 15,22,346 schools that cater for Primary to Higher Secondary level, 799 Universities and 39071 Colleges in the country. The effect of COVID-19 in India starts with a lockdown of these entire education industry.
Effect of COVID-19 on Education
COVID-19 has resulted in closure of schools at various countries. There is an extraordinary ripple effect of this COVID-19 on schools and colleges. It is estimated that about 1.3 billion students are disrupted due to this severe health pandemic outbreak worldwide. There are about 13 countries shut schools nationwide for several weeks. The after-school programs are shut down. The School morning assemblies are canceled. The school mass gathering for any event in more numbers are dropped off. When schools are closed, the students not just miss out on their learning outcomes, but also distanced on social contact which helps in learning and development of every child.
In the Indian context, the school / colleges that follows June-April academic pattern are the ones more affected than that of the ones that follows calendar year schedule. Since the outbreak of the virus from early days of March 2020 where the final examinations and final markings for the whole academic year should be carried out brought in a curious question in the mind of both the students and teachers whether this would be held, leaving an emotional breakdown on the students who had been looking forward for this whole year to this final assessment. Under this unprecedented scenario, the school management and staff are also unaware of methods to handle this situation. These leave us with lot of following questions to be answered and few emergency preparedness to be debated and arrived at by every school management.
- Schools continuity plan for e-teaching and learning.
- Schools support system for teachers on providing resources (with limited IT Staff) for e-content production.
- Schools support for complete IT enabled solutions for teaching and learning.
- Lack of access to digital technology by students
- Government support/grant to schools to enable e-teaching and learning.
- Evaluation and assessment methods.
- Parents socio-economic stature to support children need on digital learning.
- Protection of data privacy and data security.
The goal of every institution is to make every student finish strong. In this unexpected situation when the whole world is fighting against this health pandemic, the education sector needs to prepare itself for any emergency to tackle the problem and keep a continuous teaching learning system. It always suggested to keep an emergency preparedness plan and keep an alternate system in place, so that the system of education is undisrupted at any period of time.