Will it change the way schools and universities operate? Let’s see what our education specialist thinks.
Our lives have changed with the corona virus crisis. But have they changed forever? Does this change everything, experts from the educational sector look at the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic ranging from education and distance learning?
Will the corona virus change the educational system in the future?
It effectively changes how schooling is currently organized. As we speak, 156 countries have partially or fully closed schools to contain the spread of the disease and this closure affects 82% of students in schools and higher education worldwide. So the answer is yes, it changes education in its present form, and it will undoubtedly also change the way it operates in the future.
Why is this change necessary? The disease does not seem to affect children.
We know that schools are very important places for social integration. Children seem to be less affected by this disease than adults, but many teachers and other professionals work in schools, where children come into contact with each other before returning home and reuniting with their parents. It is for this reason that schools apply social distancing rules, like many other places. Of course, this comes at a cost. Learning is slowed down, as is social integration between children, and social inclusion.
What new approaches would be necessary to deal with this new situation and how will things evolve?
Schools around the world and universities are making extraordinary efforts to deal with the current situation right now. Most of them were taken aback and were not prepared for a sudden and prolonged break in face-to-face lessons. Most of them responded by using the Internet and television in some countries, printing out the necessary documents, and sending emails to parents to allow the children to work. Schools and teachers are therefore doing their best, but it is clear that the education systems, also in developed countries, were not well prepared for this kind of situation. This must change in the future.
In the future, countries, schools, regions will need to think more about how they want to prepare for a situation like this, and this experience will force them to think about how they could better integrate the distance learning in what they do. Education will transition seamlessly to all digital and exclusively distance learning, or that we will find online courses to be much better than face-to-face teaching.
What effect will this have on the daily lives of children and parents in the future? And also for adult training?
It’s hard to imagine it at the moment. Things should ideally not change too much, because classroom lessons, social integration, social inclusion between children and young people are extremely important for society. Hope we come back to it as soon as possible. Among the changes that we will see, we will see countries investing more in their digital infrastructure to ensure that all schools and families have good access to benefit from distance learning. And then it would be important to ensure that teachers are well trained in the use of digital platforms and can be prepared to integrate distance learning into their lessons.
Advice for parents who provide distance schooling
Try to cope as much as you can. What is important is to try as much as possible to have some kind of schedule, but also to stay strong enough to be able to resist when suddenly everything falls apart. And to keep a good reserve of optimism and good humor, no matter what. But also, be aware of the possibilities available to you.