Though the globe has addressed other pandemics within the past, COVID-19 has been spreading fast. Moreover, the virus is kind of contagious and may pass between people before any symptoms appear. This pandemic has affected the educational system worldwide, resulting in total closure of universities and colleges. As of 20th May 2020, approximately 1.725 billion learners are currently affected throughout the world (remember here we are talking about schools only). The state of education for future generations would be affected and can be much different than the current generation.

As per the present scenario, there’s an uncertainty when schools and colleges will reopen. Educational institutions throughout the globe have taken several measures to fight this pandemic like closing institutes, rescheduling exams, sanitization of premises using various means and platforms to continue the learning process, and so forth.

Universities face impact in terms of a slowdown in student internships and placements, lower fee collection that may create hurdles in managing the assets. Several institutions have put faculty hiring plans for existing vacancies on an intermission, which affects quality and excellence. The structure of learning, teaching, and assessment methodologies might change in the future.

Higher education sectors are also disrupted, which again paves a sway on the country’s economic future. Various students from India took admissions abroad in the US, UK, Australia, China, and so on. These countries are severely affected, there’s a possibility that students won’t take admissions there in the future. If the case persists, there’ll be a decline in the demand for international pedagogy also.

UNESCO has made the following ten recommendations:

1. Examine the readiness and choose the most relevant tools.

2. Ensure the inclusion of distance learning programs.

3. Protect data privacy and data security.

4. Prioritize solutions to address psychosocial challenges before teaching.

5. Plan the study schedule of the distance learning programs.

6. Provide support to teachers and parents on the use of digital tools.

7. Blend appropriate approaches and limit the number of applications and platforms.

8. Develop distance learning rules and monitor students’ learning process.

9. Define the duration of distance learning units based on students’ self-regulation skills.

10. Create communities and enhance connections.

As we are advancing, the use of technology in teaching or recruitment will lead to a new era wherein the best of faculty will be available from across the world to students. Education quality will be measured not just by the quality of faculty but will also have familiarization of the faculty with digital teaching technologies as an essential criterion.

The physical infrastructure of institutions will have less impact on the quality of education and, thus, directly on tuition costs. Parent-teacher meetings, subject conferences will be done online. In the coming times, a student may be allowed to carry out courses from any College/University based on the quality of the teacher and fees for the course irrespective of his location. Finally, he/she will get a degree from the home university where he/she got registered or from the university where he/she has taken maximum courses, resulting in a balance of economics of proper education.

For all this to happen, a drastic change in thought process is needed in the mindset of policymakers, authorities, students, and specially educationists. Faculty selection should gradually be associated with technology for technology adoption. Similarly, accreditation parameters and criteria need reconsideration. All these steps will help strengthen the education system and will eventually help us to continue education without stopping.

Author: Abhay Pratap Singh Rathore

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