The pandemic of COVID-19 has created a chasm in the history of the modern education system. It has affected the learners of almost every country with disruption. Closures of schools, institutions, and other learning spaces have affected more than 94% of the world’s student population.
This pandemic has set in a new trend of e-learning. It has introduced a new pedagogy altogether – pedagogy for online learning. Almost two years down the line, the resultant waves due to the different variants of the coronavirus have has touched every aspect of our lives. It has modified many things and most predominantly the education and its system. Let’s look at what has it done to our education and where will it lead us to?
CHALLENGES THROWN DURING COVID
The entire education system saw an unanticipated change. Post pandemic education has become dependent on the internet completely. This has thrown a number of challenges like:
Pedagogical Challenge: The academic pedagogy available is for face-to-face learning. This is not suitable for online education. It threw both the teacher (who are not so tech-savvy) and students into the doldrums abruptly. Chalking out an effective pedagogy requires time which the teachers didn’t get at all.
Pricey Education: Online education has added extra costs to the already expensive education. Many economically backward children, in developing or under-developed countries, are unable to afford online education. As it needs online devices, gadgets, and a mandatory internet connection.
Screen time Exposure: Online learning is not feasible without digital exposure. Consequently, the screen time exposure for the learner has increased posing a health risk to the growing children.
Pressure on Parents: Online education is challenging not only for teachers and students, but it is also equally challenging for the parents. Young learners are unable to access their online classes in absence of parental guidance. It becomes even more taxing if both parents are working.
If we talk about the most unprecedented effect of the pandemic, we will conclude that it has normalized handling crunch points. What has it rendered to academics as a whole is no doubt a matter of concern but at the same time it has introduced us to a new unpremeditated system. Had there been no such situation, this would have been impossible.
As the matter of fact, globally over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom. Consequently, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken virtually and on digital platforms.
E-learning tools have played a crucial role during this phase. The percentage of internet penetration has risen due to larger consumption internet usage. Virtual learning through Google Classroom, Zoom, has made students and teachers significant contributors to it.
According to research, there is the retention of information in online learning. Also, it takes less time and makes communication easier in audio-visual format. This indicates that the changes coronavirus has caused might remain with us.
E-LEARNING – A CHANGE FOREVER?
The distant education has disturbed traditional educational practices. The teaching methods and the classroom culture have undergone a sudden dynamic shift. We see a pedagogy evolving in this phase. This might eventually impel the adoption of online learning post-pandemic. This might actually materialize with some standard operating procedures put in place. For instance, a simple strategy for making learning resources handy. These include articles, pre-recorded videos, and YouTube links before the class.
If this change persists, it will impact the worldwide education market more largely. For this innovating and implementing alternative educational systems and assessment, strategies become imperative. The fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has provided us with an opportunity to pave the way for introducing e-learning. Digital learning through online mode might be a “new normal”.
This will need a suitable and relevant pedagogy for online education. For this, educators and learners must have good exposure to information and communications technology (ICT).
Besides, a suitable pedagogy and platform need to be further explored. As the effectiveness of online learning varies amongst age groups, it should be well-designed for different class levels of higher secondary, middle, and primary education.
COVID and 2022
The new year 2022 proved to be the harbinger of the new wave in India. What man proposes, God disposes is the phrase best-suited for the current COVID-situation at the beginning of the year.
As most of the secondary and senior secondary schools reopened after the relaxation of restrictions, the primary section was still preparing to open.
Thus, self-exploratory learning has become essential for students. Also, they should learn to engage in offline activities for practical knowledge from the physical environment. A workable academic teaching and learning method and an updated pedagogy can bring in relevant changes.