Education Before, During, And After The Covid-19 Pandemic
The occurrence of certain events intends to drive the impossible to possibilities. One such occurrence was the global pandemic COVID-19, which has proven human beings ability to curb any situation and thrive forward.
Education once emerged to be sharing wisdom with others and enlightenment. Later, it was structured by various systems into a syllabus taught over a period inside a suitable learning environment called schools, universities, or institutions. What is currently considered normal was an impossible task involving many fights and debates to bring out the equal right to education for everyone. The impact of education on an individual’s life is not measurable but certainly, the life they live is itself the proof. COVID-19 has disrupted every sector of livelihood. The education systems were affected abruptly leading to the shutdown of schools and universities. Different countries have adapted in various forms to continue the flow of studies. The disruption in education has led to losses and inequalities in studies.
The education systems worldwide always met certain criteria when it came to delivering and conducting educational standards. Constructing a favorable environment for the overall well-being and development of a student was the intention behind building schools and universities. To an extent, this idea was successful where an individual is unknowingly nurtured with social and interpersonal skills. Often, schools are renamed to be a ‘second home’ as students spend most of their time apart from home at a school and university. Teachers were bearing an immense responsibility for teaching lessons along with moral values. There was a routine, the system of education brought into a student’s life. A schedule to meet every day and learn from and outside books. A child is known to develop most of their behaviors in educational institutions and at home itself. Schools were playing a crucial role in providing health services and meals along with psychological support (The World Bank, 2021). Even though there were immense opportunities for guidance and enlightenment from universities they have taken a back seat as the competition and business mentality in education started sprouting. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone and every university aimed to develop a continuously achieving student community. In this race, the importance of values and humanitarian concerns were neglected. Indirectly, the students were brought up to compete, aim for the first position, and care less for others. This embarked on a selfish and opportunistic future generation.
A place to attend every day as a routine was shut down indefinitely. At this phase parents, and caregivers took up the role of home-learning helpers to support the new technological advancements (Bhula & Floretta, 2020) The initial phase was confusion and anxiety. No one knew how to face this as it had never happened or was anticipated to occur. Eventually, simultaneously when the whole world was falling apart with losing lives humans carved out methods to continue the academic year without delay. It was endless nights, days of work, and meetings to decide on a solution. There was no cessation for learning, teaching, and assessment as the solution included plans using an online digital interface (Rapanta et al., 2020). The teachers and professors with great generation gaps and technologically not advanced countries came up with a mission to deliver knowledge within the boundaries marked by authorities. The parents, teachers, and students faced various types of difficulties. As mentioned, technology was only an added aid for teaching, but it was during this pandemic it took a front seat to delivering and accessing the knowledge. Each country had its own battle from providing the necessary appliances for studies like computers, phones, and tablets to the internet. The rural areas with poor development the implementation of solutions was difficult. During this period, many people started helping each other out with no expectations or return favors. The support every person was showing towards every individual in any stuck situation was very evident. Nations came together to help poor countries and the moral values that took a back seat before were ignited. When the teachers studied to use the advanced and sophisticated internet for daily teachings and students were grasping the developments along with guidance from parents created a deeper understanding of the scenario as they were witnessing it. Instead of taking their children side only parents seeing the struggle each professor puts in to provide a lesson made them realize their ward’s strengths and weaknesses. Universities had come up with various methods of hybrid learning techniques like the Hyflex model which combined face-to-face and online learning. It was a complete students choice to prefer either option, but it created a disrupted experience from the cohort setting and being part of one class (Meydanlioglu & Arikan, 2014)
The most awaited news about the reopening of schools and universities had brought back a sense of relief for exhausting online classes were with college students keeping a monitor on them was not possible as they knew better how to trick the professors. It is mandatory to understand the barriers students faced during the pandemic (Beatty, 2019). The advanced use of gadgets was reduced to only necessary times, and it had harmful effects on their physical and mental state. The communication skills especially among smaller students had to be re-initiated as they felt anxious meeting new people. Still, the convenience of various meetings is continued with zoom calls and assessments submissions online. The criteria for assessing knowledge were based on examinations score but after COVID-19 the guidelines have started to assess overall performance and not completely on one exam. A break from schools, colleges, and institutions has been a negative experience for some as not all students fit into one method of teaching, but some found it much more convenient and productive.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has prioritized education as the top for peace and sustainable development aiming to solve global challenges through transformative learning, with a special focus on gender equality and Africa across all actions. The Global Education 2030 Agenda specifies equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (Meinck, Fraillon, & Strietholt, 2022). This pandemic evoked the purpose of education that was lost as the world developed. This reminder would ensure conscious efforts to teach the lessons for achieving a career as well as a valued human being.
1. THE WORLD BANK. (2021, March 30). Education Response and Recovery During and After COVID-19. World Bank. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/education/brief/mission- recovering-education-in-2021.
2. Bhula, R., & Floretta, J. (2020, October 16). A Better Education for All During—and After—the COVID-19 Pandemic (SSIR). Ssir.org. https://ssir.org/articles/entry/a_better_education_for_all_during_and_after_the_covid_19_pandemic.
3. Rapanta, C. Botturi, L. Goodyear, P. Guardia, L. and Koole, M. (2020). Online Teaching University Teaching during and after COVID-19 Crisis: Refocusing Teacher Presence and Learning Activity. Postdigit Sci. Educ. 2, 923-945. Doi:10.1007/s42438-020-00155.
4. Meydanlioglu, A., and Arikan, F. (2014). Effect of Hybrid Learning in Higher Education. Int. J. Inf. Commun. Eng. 8 (5), 1292–1295.
5. Beatty, B. J. (2019). Hybrid-Flexible Course Design: Implementing Student-Directed Hybrid Classes. EdTech Books. Available online: https://edtechbooks.org/hyflex/.
6. Meinck, S., Fraillon, J., & Strietholt, R. (2022). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education: international evidence from the Responses to Educational Disruption Survey (REDS). Unesco.org. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000380398