COVID-19 has had a significant impact on different sectors worldwide. One among them is the education sector, which has seen a major setback in several areas. The disparity between the impact of the pandemic in under-developed, developing, and developed countries are stark, and this guide discusses these impacts in greater detail.
The increased dependence on online means to impart education has also raised the risk of cybercrime. For example, there have been several instances of the use of WhatsApp spy apps to track people’s conversations to disastrous effects.
Let’s dive in and find out about these changes and how the increased dependence on online means has impacted the field of education.
5 Ways in Which COVID-19 Has Impacted the Education Sector
The Shift From Offline to Online Learning
The biggest and most prominent shift in the education sector was the shift from offline to online learning. Earlier, few institutes in well-developed countries relied on online learning, often as part of a hybrid model. However, in the post-COVID era, schools and colleges across the world have had to make this paradigm shift.
This shift has also had several effects on the learning experience. For example, learning has become a lot less personal. Students no longer have the pleasure of physically going to their classes, meeting friends, and getting to know new people. Instead, they interact with each other only as long as they need to as part of their online classes.
Another change is the fact that this necessity has also resulted in the need for improved technology in homes. This has especially affected developing countries, where parents now suddenly had to buy their kids laptops, tablets, or smartphones to ensure their learning doesn’t come to a halt.
Teachers Have Had to Pick Up New Skills Almost Overnight
While kids and younger people are familiar with how to operate computers and smartphones with ease, one can’t always say the same for their teachers, some of who are often more elderly people. For them, technology is often limited to making a few calls and sending a few texts when needed. So for them to have to shift from in-person teaching to learning how to operate a laptop, use apps like Zoom or Google Meet was a drastic shift.
While this came with its share of understandable difficulties, teachers are now more technologically adept and thus far more future-ready.
An Increased Emphasis on Mental Health
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting isolation have left kids and their parents alike dealing with mental health issues. From anxiety, loneliness to depression, the inability to go out and meet one’s friends and loved ones led to a significant rise in cases of mental health issues worldwide.
This, in turn, has led to a lot more awareness of the importance of positive mental health. While the younger generation could have been said to be more open to talking about mental health, the pandemic has seen older people realizing its importance in life. This has led to a very positive trend where schools and colleges are more focused on ensuring they do their best to help students and teachers alike who might be suffering from any such issues.
An Increased Focus On Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene is yet another subject that has gained prominence in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools across the world have realized the importance of the emphasis on personal and collective hygiene, and in terms of the pandemic itself, this starts with an emphasis on the use of masks and sanitizers.
However, this has also translated into a trend where people now wash their produce or grocery hen buying it, and children too have become accustomed to this positive practice. This will go a long way in ensuring that kids take responsibility for their health and do everything in their power to protect themselves from preventable ailments.
Displayed the Disparity in Access to Education Across the World
Last but not least, the pandemic has exposed the sheer disparity in access to education in different parts of the world. For example, while schools in Singapore have shifted entirely to home-based learning, schools in countries like Slovakia, Kenya, Namibia remain closed.
This goes to show the extent to which under-developed and developed countries need to improve their education facilities. While kids in developed countries get to continue their education mostly unhindered, those in other countries face a major loss.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely disruptive, to say the least. And this disruption is most evident in the education sector, where the disparity in access to education stands exposed. However, with improving technology, there is still scope for improvement. For example, access to computers and high-speed internet is a great place to start. Schools can also use the best phone tracking apps to monitor how effectively teachers are conducting classes online.
At the end of the day, there needs to be a comprehensive effort to ensure that children worldwide don’t lose out on their education, as it can seriously impact their future in an increasingly competitive world.