The Coronavirus pandemic has almost brought the entire world to a halt. One such sector that has been experiencing a complete standstill right from the beginning is the Education Industry. Education in Covid-19 seems like a fairly challenging and strenuous task, especially for a country like India which has only recently tapped into the digital world of education.
The virus has led to a total closure of schools, colleges and other education institutions around the world. And it is not just the wrath of the virus that the students have to fear but all the other harrowing incidents that it is followed by.
Covid 19 is spreading its wings around the world in an unprecedented briskly manner. The virus has rooted off 1.53 billion students out of school. It is feared that the dropout rate is going to escalate rapidly as the situation and countries advance into different stages of the pandemic.
Problems Faced During Education in Covid 19
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought to light and exposed inequalities in education standards across different parts of the society. In a report released by UNESCO, it has been stated that nearly 40% of lower income countries are not being able to support students that fall under the category of minority, poor or learners with disabilities. In another report, it was stated that around the month of April, almost 91% of the students in the world were out of school.
The 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report called out schools for adopting “imperfect substitutes” for classroom instruction. Most poor countries have opted for radio and television education programs while the lower- , middle- , and upper-middle countries have all taken up online platforms for primary and secondary education.
The Indian students have been facing a great deal of complication right from the beginning. And this got even worse as the exam season was just round the corner when the virus started prevailing in the country.
It was around the month of March when the officials started to shut down schools and colleges as a measure to prevent the students as well as contain the virus. This was an extremely crucial point as scheduled board and university exams were put on a hold with no potential date in sight of restarting them. It was much later in around June when all exams were declared cancelled.
India currently has 285 million students and very little resources available to provide quality education to even half of them irrespective of their far-reaching economic and societal barriers.
Teachers are undoubtedly the ones that have suffered the most through this whole downfall and collapsing of the education system. According to a report by Forbes released in June, almost 1 million teachers have lost their jobs worldwide.
An alarming uncertainty surrounding the jobs of teachers runs in the world today. Most are turning to manual labour to sustain their lives and feed their families.
In India, close to 2.7 million teachers are untrained to deal with the challenges thrown by Covid 19. However, a special task force has been appointed to help them out and to provide the best quality of education in every possible way. Stefania Giannini – UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education highlighted this issue and personally launched the task force to help the Indian teachers.
The areas to be covered with help of this task force are-
- Reliable internet access for all
- Solutions to keep children learning where there is no internet
- No education cuts
- A safe environment for teachers and pupils
- Lost school days should not turn into a lost generation
- Training to teach online
- Training to safeguard children online
- Nutritious free meals
- Fast-track edtech strategies.
The teachers along with this, are also provided with a draft toolkit of practical tips and checklists to ensure their safety as schools begin to re-open.
These are undeniably problematic and complex times. And we truly believe that Education is something that requires our foremost attention as entire economies and futures are counting on these young sturdy shoulders. And we cannot let them down. Both teachers and students are well aware of the current situation and are ready to continue their learning from the four walls of their home. All they are asking for are conscientious resources to keep this already rocky journey a bit stable and smooth.