As per the latest data by UNESCO, “around 1.3 billion learners around the world were unable to attend school or university as of 23rd March 2020.” Due to the suspension of classes, the students have to study from home in quarantine, which has shifted the traditional practice to a digital one. The year 2020, had been a tough phase for all the sectors, and the academic sector, in particular, was heavily savaged by the COVID-19. Due to the harmful effects of the virus, over 192 countries declared an unprecedented lockdown situation. This caused a shift in the traditional mode of learning to virtual mediums. Due to this makeshift, many educational institutions had to change the educational outlook. They took to changes like lowered admission thresholds and ease in the graduation requirements. Amidst this change in learning to remote mode, students are facing an interruption in their academic careers. Here are some measures that the academicians are taking up instead of the demand for hours of lockdown. Before the after-effects, you must also read the blog on the impact of the pandemic on education right now.
Change in the Admission Standards
Amidst the social distancing, while some countries have been badly affected by the sudden changes, others aren’t affected at all. In countries like China, Gaokao, the world’s largest entrance exam won’t be delayed by any course. Like every year, the admissions will take place in July, with almost 10 Million students to appear for the same. But, the British and American government has put a stop on the entrances exams instead of the pandemic. The exams like GCSE, AS, and SAT, responsible for seeking admission into half of the IVY League Institutions, won’t take place for the time being.
In this situation, the most affected are the students with a weaker financial background. Research has shown that predictive grades reflect final exam grades less than 20 percent of the time. Also, they may also underestimate the test performance of top students from low social backgrounds. That is, the high-performing students from low-income households will have a huge impact on their scores due to stave off of the resources. Changes in the competitive exams will also alter the universities’ admission ratio. For instance, the UK is planning to keep special quotas for international students in universities, facing a decline in number. In other countries like India, the government is planning to hold Joint Admission Examinations to apply for several institutions abroad.
Ease in Promotion and Graduation Requirements
Due to the pandemic affecting the entire academic structure, many institutions have taken easing the promotion and graduation requirements. In countries like Norway, Indonesia, and France, the exams stand canceled. Rather the students will get promoted based on their average score in the school subjects, i.e., the tests and assignments. The IB (International Baccalaureate is awarding a diploma to students based on their previous exam sessions.
Also, other countries like Canada and Us are suspending their grading practices for the time being. They are taking up assessment measures based on pass/fail criteria or credit /no-credit options. Many of them are also scheduling an online testing system to assess the students. But, this kind of a set up is a disadvantage for the below the line families with no more access to a computer or a stable internet connection. Considering these situations, many countries have started taking up the process of promoting students.
The main criteria will be their class performance than to continue with the online classes. Since online learning has good access to impart education in this situation of lockdown, too, it’s going right. But, in countries with wealth disparities like in parts of Africa, students are raging against the online learning system. They’re standing for their right to demand the lenience in promoting them.
What Temporary Help Will the Institutions Provide?
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many students suffering because of the delay in their license. Considering this, the US came up with temporary issuance of emergency licenses to physicians, nurses, and other health professionals. In China, they’ve allowed teachers to start teaching without passing the required eligibility exams. As per the US institutes guidelines, the accreditation duration has been extended. The students graduating with pending accreditation will be “considered to have graduated from an accreditated program.”
So, under such events, the sudden makeshift in the mode of education from in-classroom to online mode is quite abrupt. With the lack of proper curriculum, planning, and trained online educators, the process might go wrong. The institutions must take up necessary measures to ensure that they provide better learning outcomes. Also, there should be assurance authorities to prevent cheating during online examinations. With the right measure, distance learning might become a new model of education. The prime purpose is to impart education to a wide audience without disruptions.