Impact of COVID-19 on Academics

The incessant growth of COVID-19 has coerced governments into shutting trade, industries, and educational institutes. With IITs and NITs programmed to resume only after September, uncertainty in students and teachers is on the rise (Source: Time of India).

The closure of schools is followed by the hazards of aggravating an already frail education system. Ubiquitous technology, however, fortunately, prevents the shut down of learning. Regulators and educators need to unsheathe the full potential of this tech; now more than ever.

Closed schools, confused students, uncertain parents, and stressed-out teachers, all struggling to get acquainted with a new online learning regime. It seems chaotic at first, but it is the best; trust us!

The impact of COVID-19 on academics is two-fold. The foremost being, the quantifiable impact.

  • 32 crore students in India sit indoors while over 1.5 million schools and 800 universities remain shut. 
  • Around the world, over 1 billion learners are affected in 186 countries. (Check out UNESCO’s report here).  

Classes 1-8th already being promoted, the conditions to reopen schools/colleges are still being analysed. However, as the Union HRD minister has time and again iterated such a step will not materialise before July. But in all likeliness, it may extend beyond that.

Accompanying this quantifiable, near-term impact are the deeper, cardinal consequences of the pandemic that have led regulators and educators to rethink the country’s education model. In his address to an ensemble of teachers from various parts of the country, Prof. Atul Khosla through the webinar Edotalks-2 discussed the developments that could occur within the academic world in the ensuing days. 

An exodus towards better learning platforms

Apart from an inevitable economic decline, the pandemic lays the ground for a revolutionary change in methods and directives of learning. The industry sector in India is projected to boom post COVID, and some experts even anticipate India becoming a manufacturing hotspot instead of China. Elsewhere, meddled with uncertainty, studying abroad could see a downfall in the number of students. An article published by The Times of India states that 1 in 4 employed persons, lost their job between March-April 2020. Prof Khosla draws an inference stressing that the nature and sheer volume of jobs could take an inexorable hit.

For companies to thrive, clerical jobs will have to be replaced by creative ones. Should such conjecture hold, India’s utilitarian education system could witness a collapse. With momentous changes in practically every domain, one fact stands certain – we all need to move very rapidly towards a better, comprehensive learning platform.

The hour demands a propitious jump from obsolescence to innovation. The said demand requires some crucial changes to teaching/learning methods. A conformist syllabus cannot be bombarded equally on students with differing learning abilities, interests, and inclinations. In this world of ruthless competition, Edoflip believes that learning needs to be personalized.

Online is the definite way forward

Prof. Khosla has expressed concerns if schools would even start this year at all let alone resume in July. Even in the unlikely event of absolute normalcy, schools could only start partially. That warrants a nationwide online learning platform for extended periods. We, at Edoflip, believe that with the benefits it offers, online learning should be practised beyond just quarantine requirements.   

The Internet is the greatest resource of the information revolution. Imbibing this ingenious tool into education could produce marvellous results. Promoting online learning as a prime education system would be the first step.

With the ongoing crisis, the abrupt transition to online learning has affected three groups of people.

a) A small percentage of the ones well acquainted with e-learning

b) A sizeable number of students having done a handful of online courses

c) A large number of people never having explored the internet as a learning  

The pandemic has enkindled a reversal of these figures with a large number of people now familiar with online learning and its benefits. A Hobson’s choice for the said population is proving to be beneficial to most.

Along with ease of access, flexibility, and unparalleled convenience, online learning brings with it a line-up of additional benefits:

  1. A comfortable learning environment
  2. Lessons from the best teachers worldwide
  3. An array of tools to make learning interactive
  4. Reviewing lectures on-demand  
  5. Highly cost-effective with minimal logistics

Above all online learning is concurrent with personalised learning. Should regulators decide the exigent journey towards personalised learning, online is the definite way forward. 

The internet is a veritable wild west of possibilities and so are you. That being said, Edoflip is happy to be the Hogwarts to your Harry. 

Rewatch the entire webinar

Leave a Reply