The government shut down many sectors of the economy in 2020, including educational institutions. This closure led to 1.6 billion pupils, about 80% of the world’s student population staying at home. Now, with the gradual ease in lockdown restrictions, many schools are reopening but now face new challenges as they attempt to maintain a high learning quality in the face of a global pandemic. Most colleges and universities have opted to provide their scholars with online lessons, but this in itself poses a new set of problems that can negatively affect education delivery.
Here are some of the issues threatening to derail the educational process during the Covid-19 pandemic.
There are numerous safety concerns for both in-person and online learning.
There’s a risk of the Covid-19 virus breaking out on campus grounds. Most schools have employed numerous safety measures such as testing, gifting face masks and mandating their use, setting up several sanitizing stations, and more. But this setup and precautions only help to reduce the risk but not eliminate it.
Remote learning or online education also has numerous safety concerns. The internet can be a dangerous environment, especially for young unsuspecting children. Schools have safety measures in place that prevent students from coming in contact with predators such as pedophiles but have no such control at their homes.
Adjusting To Online Learning
Many teachers are new to the world of distance learning, having little to no experience with handling the required digital technology. Naturally, it’s challenging to make the switch from in-person lectures, an activity they’ve had years to perfect, to teaching over screens in such a short period. There’s a noticeable dip in many tutors’ performance and delivery as they attempt to navigate this unfamiliar terrain.
Many tutors have had to start from scratch trying to find the right resources and techniques to deliver high-quality lessons, an ordeal they have had to perform against a backdrop of low resources and personal struggles. They have lives outside the educational system and are prone to mental and emotional drain just like everyone else.
Increase In Equity Gap
Online education requires high-speed internet connections, and the only widespread technology that supports such speeds are 4-G gadgets. The current situation threatens to expand the educational equity gap among students, as there are numerous families with limited access to such technology or digital learning facilities. This group is in danger of not having access to educational resources while at home, further increasing the equity gap.
A Higher Drop-Out Rate
There’s a chance of increasing drop-out rates as students find it challenging to cope with the new learning process. Students also have to battle with emotional trauma, loneliness, and poor mental health during the pandemic.
In a bid to make up for the lost time during the lockdown, many institutions have upped the workload, with examinations taking place within shorter periods. Many students looking to cope with the rigorous schedule often purchase a research paper from online writing services. Buying papers online or getting professional assistance with your write-ups can help create time to study and handle other tasks while still having a high-quality research paper.
Lack Of Physical Interactions
Physical interactions with classmates are crucial elements in effective learning. Online education doesn’t provide such a setup, with students having to interact using chat applications. Students who are social introverts might have no problems with this setup, but extroverts would find it challenging. It could hurt the latter’s concentration levels and mental health.
The Covid-19 pandemic hit the economy resulting in a financial crisis. Many nations have had their budget allocations cut down and have had to adjust their fundings, allocating more funds to healthcare and human management sectors. With most universities and colleges relying on government funding to operate, this situation isn’t ideal for learning institutions.
Many people lost their jobs during the pandemic, and with the high cost of tuition fees and textbooks, numerous families can’t afford these expenses.
Possible Solutions To Solve These Challenges
Here are steps that can help preserve the educational process from the challenges it now faces.
Installing Security Applications on Gadgets
Safeguarding students from the harmful aspects of the internet falls mainly on the shoulders of parents and guardians. Many security apps can help you keep a handle on things. These programs grant you a great degree of parental control over your ward’s digital activities and protect them.
Creating More Financial Aid Programs
Awarding more grants, scholarships, and funding to educational institutions can help relieve the financial burden of getting a higher education. Improving and creating widespread internet connections can help improve access to online resources.
It’d also help if the government, NGOs, and philanthropists provide free digital gadgets to students from low-income homes. Devices such as Chromebooks are affordable options that can help with distance education.
Catering to Mental Health
It’s best to create awareness of the dangers of poor mental health. Governments and schools can set up support centers and provide easy and free access for students and teachers to meet with a therapist.
Multiple challenges are facing the current educational process. The sudden switch to online learning threatens to lower education quality, especially in middle and low-income nations. Here, schools don’t have the facilities and technology to undertake distance learning effectively.
This new setup also faces other problems, such as children’s internet safety and protection, lack of widespread access to internet connectivity, adjustment issues, and more. Improved government funding and granting pupils more financial aids are steps to tackle the challenges facing the educational process.