- COVID-19 pandemic affected almost every aspect of our lives including the way we learn. It reshaped the education sector and some changes are that were brought during the pandemic are going to stay.
Changes in the education sector due to COVID-19:
- Schools had to close down fearing the further spread of the virus. So, to continue the education of students, many schools and colleges shifted to an online mode of education. Even though e-learning was there before pandemic too, the pandemic accelerated the usage of e-learning.
- Even though e-learning is a boon for the education sector, especially in the pandemic time, it increased stress in students as they had to sit in front of screens for a long time with no physical interaction with teachers and other students. Some students faced eye problems and headaches too. So, that slowed down some students and they lagged behind in studies.
- As children had to stay at home, some children felt isolated and that affected their mental health.
- The gender divide was deepened in education in the pandemic time. As many lower-income groups were affected by the pandemic negatively, they had to opt for budget cuts. And as there was low priority on girls’ education in many lower-income groups, their education was stopped. And some girl children are forced into child marriages.
- As the internet and smartphones are not available to all, the education gap widened between the haves and have nots. Several children had to stop education and had to go to work because they do not have access to other benefits of school such as the midday meal scheme. People and the government had to struggle hard to bring several children into schools. And now, this pandemic reversed all these changes.
- Teachers too were stressed as they had to teach children online and that comes with its own challenges. Teachers couldn’t concentrate on all students and couldn’t understand whether they understood the concepts or not. Moreover, they had to learn many new things while opting to teach in online mode.
- As schools and colleges are now reopening, many educational institutions are opting for hybrid learning methods to include both e-learning and offline mode of teaching.
COVID-19 pandemic forced many changes in the education sector, and some changes will not go even after the pandemic. Some changes like blended learning are helping to make education more accessible, and some other changes affected students negatively. There is a need to bridge the digital divide and to make e-learning accessible for all. And we must immediately take steps to bring back the children, who had to quit education into schools.
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