The impact of COVID-19 has spread worldwide and obstructed normal human lives in several ways especially it compelled us to maintain social distancing. All three sectors including primary,secondary to tertiary all have the major effect of pandemic COVID-19. Even the most developed countries were not able to cope up with arose pandemic situation. Like all the sectors it has also hindered the education system of India and the world badly. The COVID-19 pandemic was first identified in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019. The cause of the virus is still not known. Who the first case of the COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The first case of the COVID-19 in India was reported on 30thJanuary 2020 in Kerala and the infected person was returned from Wuhan, China. The first death in India was reported on 12th March 2020. It has affected billions of people worldwide. According to UNESCO reported, COVID-19 has affected more than the 90% of the total world's student population. Due to the pandemic, everyone is enforced to the worldwide lack down creating a frightful effect on the student's life. There are around 320 million learners in India and are 610 million worldwide, were all stopped to move schools/colleges and the whole education system of India is halted. The COVID-19 outbreaks have taught us the greatest lesson that change is inevitable. It has worked as a catalyst for educational institutions to grow and opt for platforms with technologies that have been not used before. Due to ill-timed outbreaks, our education sector has been fighting to survive the crisis and digitising is the best approach to wipe away this threat of the pandemic. Through this blog, I would like to throw light on the details related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our education system, its positive and negative areas, government initiatives and solutions.
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Indian education system
After WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic it was advised to maintain social distancing to prevent it from spreading. So every country started the action of lockdown to set apart the infected people. Like other sectors, the education sector was also affected intensely. Education sectors including schools, colleges and universities were enforced to close. Classes were suspended and all examinations of school,colleges and universities including entrance tests were postponed indefinitely. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts the schedules of every student. Though it is a very exceptional situation when it comes to education, it created a whole new digital era in education history. From traditionally styled classrooms we suddenly entered online modes because of COVID-19 ( coronavirus). Initially, the educators and the students were not fully aware of the usage of online education and were confused due to the sudden rise of digitalisation. But later both the educator and students understands the need the time and managed to cope up with the situation. Thus, COVID-19 has created many challenges and opportunities for the educational industries to strengthen their technical knowledge and infrastructure.
The positive impact of COVID-19 on education
Thoughthe COVID-19 pandemic harms our education system and has led to the closure of many education institutions Indian educational institutions have accepted the challenges and had tried their best to support services to the students during the pandemic. Following are the major positive impacts of this outbreak:
Move towards mixed education: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic students and the teachers were not able to meet physically so they shifted towards the digital platform to interact with each other. So we can say that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies to deliver education. It encouraged all teachers and students to become more technology savvy. It also gives access to large pools of learners at a time.
Rise in the use of learning App: Rise in online mode leads to an increase in online platforms to regulate education which increases the use of educational apps. It opened a great opportunity for the companies that have been developing and strengthening learning management systems for use of educational institutions.
Increase in use of the soft copy for learning: Due to the pandemic and social distancing students were not able to get the hard copies of study materials hence most students started using soft copies materials.
Rise in online meetings: The pandemics have enhanced the massive rise in teleconferencing, virtual meeting, webinars opportunity to learn from different teachers.
Digital literacy: The pandemic situation induced people to learn and use digital technology.
Educational activity hampered: In India, the outbreak came in March and April resulting in the cock down. It leads to the suspension of regular classes and the postponement of the exams. Different boards exams, annual exams and the entrance test were postponed. And continuity in the lockdown leads to a 3-month loss of the full academic year of 2020-2021.
Impact on employment: Recruitment got postponed due to COVID-19, placement for the student was also affected with companies delaying the onboarding of students. Due to the lockdown, many teachers lost their jobs.
Unprepared teachers/students for online education: In India people prefer the traditional methods move than the digital one. But due to the pandemic and sudden shift in digitalisation teachers, as well as students, get confused.
Access to a digital world: In India, not every student have the access to the internet and there are so many students who cannot afford computer, laptops or supporting mobile phones for online education. The lockdown hit the poor students very hard. Thus the online teaching-learning method during a pandemic may enhance the gap between rich/poor and urban/rural.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 the government of India has taken a number of preventive measures. Carry competitive exams including the UPSC examination got cancelled or postponed even CBSE cancelled the boards' examination of 2020-21. And all state ministers takes several preventives to ensure that the academic sessions would not be hampered because of COVID-19. Schools hold online classes during the period of lockdown to continue the sessions so a, not to waste the student's year. There were several digital initiatives of MHRD ( ministry of human resource development) adopted for secondary as well as higher education such as Diksha, e-pathshala, national repository of open educational resources (NROER) for secondary education that provides r- Learning materials to all and for higher education like swayam, swayam Prahaand e-PG pathshala thatprovides e-platform for educational purpose to the students.
Indian policies must include people from diverse backgrounds including remote areas, marginalised and minority groups and especially those who have no access to the internet or smartphones. Immediate measures are required for those who went jobless because of the COVID-19 outburst. In this digital era, the internet and technology is the utmost requirement so, the digital communities help the students to continue their education during the pandemic situation. There is a need to fix the digital gap for the smooth working of education.
So, here we can conclude that the pandemic was definitely a challenging situation for one and all but, the way we all coped up with the situation is highly appreciable. We even discovered several methods and preventives to continue our educational activities without limiting the student’s potential. So, as its said ends’ well so all well so it is we learnt, understood and experienced the situation and got triumph over the invisible destructive energy.
Reference https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse https://adamasuniversity.ac.in/positivecorona-positive-impact-of-covid-19-on-indian-education-system/ https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 https://indiaeducationdiary.in/ministry-of-education-has-taken-several-initiatives-to-ensure-studies-of-school-going-children-during-covid-19-pandemic-education-minister/ https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1744059 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/theenchantedpen/impact-of-covid-19-on-school-education-in-india-32475/
About The Author
The Stambh organisation,India