COVID-19: The Impact of Pandemic on Education

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the entire world has undergone complete lockdown, to deter its harmful effects. Everything including, schools, institutes, and corporate offices have been shut down, with a commandment of working and studying from home. The pandemic has its origin from Wuhan, located in China. The main origin of the COVID-19, an infectious disease, is a coronavirus, which is communicable. A victim of the COVID-19 disease develops mild to moderate respiratory illness. During the incubation period, most suffer are those with medical problems, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, etc. Until today, the virus has become pandemic to the extent that the statistics have over-trolled the death rate to 2, 716, 917 victims across the globe. 

How COVID-19 Spreads and Preventive Measures 

The prime source of COVID-19 spread is via water droplets from saliva or nasal discharge when an infected person sneezes or coughs. At the moment, the worst-case scenario is that there are no vaccines discovered to cure the global pandemic, which has left the world in horror. However, there are multiple tests of ongoing vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. WHO and the complete health care system have constantly been hustling to find the cure for this deadly disease. Also, the initiative measures need to be from the side of the citizens as well. As prevention is better than cure, the world has to shield against the pandemic—especially the students, who are the torch-bearer of the world. 

Preventive Measures to Fight COVID-19 Outbreak

The measures to follow for preventing the spread include:- 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds, throughout the day
  • Avoid touching your eyes or nose with your hands
  • Don’t Cough or sneeze openly, rather dab to prevent water droplets spread
  • Maintain a one-meter distance from the infected person
  • Take medical prescription in case you feel mild fever, cough, or cold

How COVID -19 Impacts the Education  

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, all the major sectors faced a situation of crisis and had to shut down for the meanwhile. In fact, if talked about the education sector, in particular, it caused the suspension of classes, making students’ academic year suffer. 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 COVID-19 pandemic has spread far and wide to the extent that the elite institutions have to postpone their examinations. In fact, on 23rd March 2020, the CIE or Cambridge International Examinations made all its exams, including ICCSE, O level, International AS  and A level, AICE diploma, and Pre-U stand to cancel. Also, the cancellation of all the baccalaureate exams also took place. While online learning was beneficial to the advantaged children will all the resources, it served another way round to the disadvantaged section. The impact on them was so severe that they faced issues like interrupted learning, lack of economic cost, etc. 

Recommended Alternatives by UNESCO

To deter the effects of COVID-19 further, there are certain remedies that UNESCO has recommended choosing. Here are some of them:-

Inclusion of Distance Learning Programmes

The foremost step to support online learning is to include distance learning programs that can improve the measures to ensure that students with disabilities get access to education. For meanwhile, the best measure is to decentralize the systems from the labs and provide them to needy families with internet connectivity. We know that this might as well affect your economy, but educating them will satisfy you in imparting education in the time of crisis as well. 

Protection of Data Privacy and Security 

While studying online, the major concern of most of the students, and even the professors are the bleach of security. So, the online learning platform has to assess the data before uploading it to the web spaces. Also, ensure the entire data complies with the student’s data privacy. 

Support the Use of Digital Tools

The institutes can organize brief training for the teachers, students, and their parents to provide them training on the use of basic settings on the digital tools to ensure a smoother education interface. By learning how to do the internet data settings, students can learn live streaming of the lessons and seek online classes at ease. 

Create Communities and Connect

During the lockdown situation, the parents, students, and teachers are facing a global pandemic, which makes them lose hope about better learning and grading. So, it is the prime duty of the college authorities to create a community, including teachers, students, and their parents, to connect for a cause. In this group, the initiative should be taken to provide a problem sharing session wherein everyone discusses the issues they’re facing during homeschooling and get solutions for the same. This uplifts their spirit and makes learning a stress-free process.