Students and educators all around the world are feeling the extraordinary ripple effect of the coronavirus as schools, colleges and universities shut down amid the public health emergency. Though the world has dealt with other pandemics in the past, COVID-19 has been spreading more rapidly. The virus is quite contagious and can pass between people before any symptoms appear. As part of the efforts made by the government to control the spread of the coronavirus, public places like schools, universities, and offices are closing down so that people can stay at home and prevent further spread of the virus. Closing schools and offices ensure that people can limit their interactions with each other and slow down the spread of the virus while the health care system copes with the pandemic. But this pandemic also opens a new gateway for the students to gain education as it completely reshapes the education system.
Online learning – Many schools and universities are opting to continue their normal classes on online platforms. Adamas University is one the first of the educational institution in India, introducing online platforms to take regular classes for the students. Now many Government educational institutions have also started using this online system. This includes the use of online tools such as emails, WhatsApp, group video lectures, which allowed the teachers and students to meet and conduct classes over the internet and also online sever systems to upload the study materials, which can be shared by both students and teachers.
Online programs – In the middle of the pandemic, to avoid the interruption of normal education various online educational platforms have been advertising-free educational tools for the students who are stuck at home around the world.
Parental care – With young children at home, parents are needed to make a schedule for them. Even online they need to help the children to navigate school on the computer as they are not able to work unless arrangements are made for them.
At this point, we don’t know the extent to which COVID-19 will continue but our future is not entirely bleak. A wider role for online learning will open. As the emphasis is being put on online education more opportunities are arising and becoming available to students. This switch from traditional learning to online learning is making it more likely that they will engage with online classes in the future. Students may opt for taking a future degree online due to the benefits and affordable options available. Many online universities are making it possible for students to earn a degree from anywhere in the world and with varying schedules due to work or family obligations, no matter their economic status. COVID-19 has become a catalyst for educational institutions worldwide to search for innovative solutions in a relatively short period.
Schools will face difficulty if they don’t teach remotely as all of their students are missing out on months of curriculum. But in this situation, they also need to switch and must think of a few strategies so that the financially disadvantaged students will not feel left out and will get a proper education. To increase their chances of success, schools could opt for proper mentoring to these under-served students. The schools need to find someone who has experienced the same challenges and can help students become more comfortable in this situation. Adamas University is already having a well-structured mentoring system through the professors, academic advisors, and management staff, which proved to be beneficial for the students in this testing time. Online learning might not reach everyone but it is not just a matter of lacking behind financially. If the students don’t know how to learn on their own if they don’t have the motivation or don’t know how to manage their time they won’t be able to learn in this environment.
There will be many important lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. A lesson to learn from this pandemic is to find ways to bridge the digital device which is becoming a matter of life and death.
Though it may be too early to say how students and teachers will cope with online learning the impact of coronavirus on education is an important consideration what we have to see so far is that online learning comes with many challenges, but the switch to technological platforms gives new opportunities to students and teachers to try different modes of education. We can think about the current situation as a crisis or as an opportunity to explore many more new possibilities. It is possible that once the COVID-19 pandemic settles down, we may see an increase in online learning for study aids as well as students embracing it for their higher degrees in the future.
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