COVID-19-sketch
Photo Credit Sudha Paudel

The COVID-19(SARS-CoV-2) Pandemic has Changed Education Forever

By- Shree paudel, Lecturer Sanothimi Campus, Tribhuvan University (TU)

The emergence of COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented challenges to all mostly health , education, community, and society. It poses unique challenges to the so-called modern society and its materialistic thought.

It forces us to think of a new reality (new world), not apart from nature, but a part of it! We now can see how our collective actions have a wider impact. we will have the choice to learn from COVID-19 to live better in our own ecosystems, and within the greater natural system of Planet.

There are challenges to be met, curves to be flattened. Every action count in this calculus. Recognizing the roles, we must play alone and together; we can be better guardians of ourselves and learn to live together.

Few Facts on Education at this pandemic

  • Education of the public matters
  • Education today is in crisis like many other sectors.
  • The world is not on track to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all either.
  • According to UNICEF, more than 72 million children of primary education age are not in school
  • The COVID-19 has resulted in schools shut across the world. Globally, there are currently more than 2 billion children in 186 countries affected by school closures due to the pandemic
  • Even before the coronavirus pandemic struck, in many parts of the world, children who should be in school were not; for those who were, their schools often lack the resources to provide adequate instructions
  • COVID-19 has changed the way of teaching/learning so we must learn alone and together

Current Situation of distance (online) learning in Nepal

  • Our current education system is built on the Industrial Revolution model and focuses on IQ, memorization, and standardization
  • Privatization of education is intensifying and funding rather than public education.
  • The curricular is outdated and not practical.
  • Education is not accessible for all.

Few Suggestion on online education for Federal Government of Nepal

  • While we work to transform education, we also need to make it more accessible.
  • Education access, equity and quality must be improved to solve the global education crisis.
  • We must update education with job readiness, the ability to compete against smart machines and the creation of long-term economic value in mind.
  • Moral Education primary, Secondary level) Military education (16-22 years mandatory (Boys) optional (girls) and practical hand-on education like modern agriculture, ICT education, agro-tourism etc. should be promoted and encourage.
  • There should be huge investment on Infrastructures, data security, and coaching/mentoring
  • Should develop promote people to adopt new culture as a basic need like a Television/FB culture
  • Due to Pandemic, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms.
  • I believe that the integration of information technology in education will be further accelerated and that online education will eventually become an integral component of education
  • In secondary schools and universities, it will be important to teach the building blocks of digital literacy, from basic computing concepts to how platforms are built.
  • When quality education is arguably more vital to one’s life than ever before, we must not forget that these children are missing out on the education needed to live fulfilling lives as adults and to participate in and contribute to the global economy.
  • Course curricular should be updated and reformed as per the industry demand.

Here, I think it is worth mentioning to few quotes-

“Our education system was founded to supply workers with a relatively fixed set of skills and knowledge”, says Karthik Krishnan, Global CEO, Britannica Group

“Investing in education is the most cost-effective way to drive economic development, improve skills and opportunities for young women and men, and unlock progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” says United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

COVID-19 is causing health emergencies and economic disruptions that no single stake holders can address, says Kelaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

Is online learning effective?

Yes. for those who do have access to the right technology and good internet access, there are lots of evidences and practices that learning online can be more effective rather than traditional methods.

What are the challenges of online learning?

There are, however, challenges in online or e-learning in the context of Nepal.

  • We do not have much practice on e-learning
  • Lack of ITC infrastructure and secure environment
  • We do not have good Internet.
  • Internet cost is huge not affordable.
  • The Nepal government is charging 42% total tax for internet bandwidth which is probably the highest rate in south Asia.
  • Adopt to change (cultural and behavioral) barrier

Besides all these, we academician and student without reliable internet access and/or technology struggling to participate in digital learning. What I believe is the Federal Government of Nepal must take initiatives creating policies for way forward if required should consult different stake holders, experts, and communities to grab this as an opportunity.

The COVID-19 Virus may have been in humans for years, study Suggests. So,

it is time to learn to live with COVID-19

Once again, let us wake up to a new reality, not apart from nature, but a part of it. we will have the choice to learn from COVID-19 to live better in our own ecosystems, and within the greater natural system of Earth.

 

3 comments

  1. As education sector is one of the major subject and economic growth on government side aswell, passive learning can be very much helpful, especially targeting the junior and high scool.
    I personally praise you concern over education.

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