Who knew a person would eat a bat one day and create havoc throughout the world? The coronavirus has caused more than a third of the world’s population to embrace different forms of lockdown. The UK, for example, went into full lockdown from March 23, 2020. From the fashion industry to local businesses, COVID-19 has affected all sorts of industries following the lockdown. Even the education sector hasn’t been able to escape the grasp of this pandemic outbreak. Let’s take a look at the three crucial impacts of the COVID-19 on education.
- School closures
Besides the lockdown, the COVID-19 outbreak also caused total closures of schools, colleges, and universities worldwide. Nearly 1.723 billion students got affected since the school closures became effective from April 26, 2020. As per the reports from UNESCO, 189 countries have implemented school closures throughout the nation. Five countries have implemented local school closures. These have impacted 98.4% of the entire world’s student population. According to the OECD, over 421 million children’s education was affected due to school closures.
- Sudden school closures led to broader socio-economic issues.
More than 370 million youth and children couldn’t attend school from March 12 due to the school closures. Working parents have to stay home to take care of their kids if the schools are closed. This causes a decrease in wages and productivity, thereby causing socio-economic issues for disadvantaged children.
- A negative impact on the healthcare system
Children are left with no choice but to stay back at home. Healthcare workers, thus, also need to stay back for their children. This means they aren’t able to be at the facilities where they are most needed amidst this healthcare crisis.
- An increase in food insecurity
Many children often rely on free or discounted meals at schools. They may be too underprivileged to get a sufficient meal for themselves back at home. The school lunch programs may have been the only source of several students in the United States. The shutting down of schools could mean food insecurity for underprivileged children.
The COVID-19 spreads like wildfire through social contact. Thus, it was a necessity to shut down schools and other education institutes to curb the spread of this deadly virus. The governments, however, must find out ways to help the children who rely on schools and colleges for more than just education purposes.
- Postponing of examinations and admissions
The closing down of schools and colleges led to the postponing of several important examinations and admissions. Cambridge University, for example, announced that they had to cancel Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level, Cambridge International AS & A Level, Cambridge AICE Diploma, and Cambridge Pre-U examinations. Even International Baccalaureate exams got canceled following the school closures. The end of the academic year is approaching in several countries. Thus, many students, parents, and teachers are worried about exams and careers in case the school closures are prolonged.
- Unclear future study choices
In most countries, exams and assessments determine future study choices. Thus, the postponing of exams made it very difficult for students to pick a course for higher education. The HKDSE or Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education determines access to higher education. Postponing this exam by one month reduced different opportunities for students.
- Adjustment in admission criteria
The SAT is used in most university admission processes in the United States. The test is then administered in person at schools. The SAT exams for this year were supposed to be held on May 2, 2020, and the tests were supposed to be reviewed on June 6, 2020. But now, these tests have been canceled. Thus, many universities are adjusting their admission criteria to make these exams optional.
- Modified examination formats
Not all exams have been postponed or canceled. Some of them are continuing to take place. The sixth-year medical school students of the United Kingdom, for example, took their exams online for the first time. The CXC high school exams in the Caribbean are most likely to implement enhanced online and offline exam formats.
A lot of exams got canceled or postponed following this pandemic outbreak. Admissions to schools and colleges have also stopped due to the same reason. Some institutions are trying to modify the admission procedure and exam processes to match pace with the current situation. Others have completely canceled all exams causing many parents to worry about their children’s future.
- A rise in alternative educational programs
The advent of AI and machine learning had promised an alternative to lecture-based traditional teaching, entrenched institutional biases, and outmoded classrooms. COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst in this case. With several schools shutting down due to the pandemic, many countries have already embraced alternative learning programs. Hong Kong, for example, started learning at home through interactive apps in February. Over 120 million students in China started learning several topics through live television broadcasts.
- Online learning programs
It is almost impossible to attend regular school and college classes in this pandemic outbreak. Many online educational platforms have brought forth free educational tools for students who are stuck at home. You can even opt for online essay writing services to get help while writing essays. Companies like Coursera and Scholastic are already advertising online programs to encourage students to learn at home.
- Interactive apps for educational purposes
The interactive apps can also help you continue learning without having to step out of your homes. From the English alphabets to complex calculus, there are apps for all sorts of topics. All you have to do is download the one you need from the Play Store. Parents can help their children make the most of these apps, even in this grave situation.
- Online tutoring classes
You can also continue learning complicated topics via online tutoring classes. Say you are unable to write an essay. Thus, ask a write my essay to help you out on these online tutoring platforms. Some tutoring platforms are also available at your convenience. Thus, you can set the time for the online classes according to your wish. It is way better than the live meetings with teachers.
The digitization of education can also widen the equality gaps already present in different parts of the world. In this case, the quality of learning primarily depends on the level of digital access. Only 60% of the world’s population is online. That means, most of the children do not have access to digital devices and data plans. They are most likely to lose educational opportunities due to the lack of digital access.
These three are the most crucial impacts of the COVID-19 on the education sector. Schools have shut down. Exams are canceled. Admission criteria got modified. The shutting down of schools has also led to a slew of innovations in this industry. But, the government has to make sure that the innovations could benefit students of all education levels irrespective of their socio-economic status.
Amy Williams is an education advisor at a reputed firm in the United States. She also provides assignment help at AllEssaywriter.com. Amy loves to paint in her free time.