Schools, colleges, and universities are institutions where students learn everything about the world and humanity. In some colleges and universities, students from different countries and ethnicities come together to learn. But recently the coronavirus outbreak has impacted this ecosystem to such an extent that all these institutes have closed all their on-campus activities. Education officials in most of the countries have been forced to cancel classes and shut down the institutes. Since social distancing is important to protect people from getting exposed to the virus, most of the classes have moved to the digital world. Thus, the online tutoring industry has seen a sudden boom and interest from educational institutes and beyond.
The closure of educational institutes has led to numerous issues affecting the education system, as well as broader social and economic issues. As per a study done by UNICEF, 72.9 percent of the world’s student population is out of schools and colleges. This disruption has affected students across communities and interrupted their learning. The long-term impact of this pandemic is yet to be understood.
Impact on educational institutes
With an unclear future, a lot of educational institutes have been negatively impacted due to this pandemic. To keep the learning process on track, universities had to move the classes online. A lot of investment and resources went into preparing for virtual learning sessions. With more than 1.6 billion children unable to attend physical schools, a dip in new enrolments is evident. Moreover, universities have seen a huge downfall in the number of international students applying for admission in higher degree courses. This has had a direct impact on the finances of the institutes.
Impact on students
School isn’t just a learning institute, students learn social and life skills in schools as well. Studying in a diverse background is crucial for students to develop social awareness. Schooling provides discipline and structure to their learning process. The coronavirus pandemic will undo months of academic gains in students. Some of these disadvantages are:
- Not all students have access to technology or fast and reliable internet. Thus, students in rural areas are struggling to access study material and attend online classes.
- Open Source education content is very limited. Most of the study material in the online domain has copyright limitations.
- The majority of the teachers aren’t trained to teach in a virtual learning setup. This is further delaying the learning process of students.
- Current online tutoring services being offered are either paid or have copyright constraints. It has become tough for parents to gather teaching material for the students.
Impact on families
Being out of school means that the students will now have to continue their education at home. But with the current expansion in homeschooling requirements, the families are feeling the strain. The role of parents was typically limited to supplement their child’s learning process. But, now they will have to become the prime driver of their child’s learning. Though many parents can school their children successfully at home, it’s unfair to generalize this concept over the entire population. So, there will be some fun, angry, and frustrated moments within families that will slow down the learning process. Moreover, parents don’t have sufficient time, knowledge, and resources to support their child’s education holistically.
Impact on graduates
The careers of students graduating in 2020 will be severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their final semester has seen teaching interruptions and delays in assessments. The worst part is that these students are graduating at the beginning of a major global recession. The current market situation isn’t in their favor. Due to this reason, most of these students might end up jobless. Those who will be offered jobs might have to accept a low-paying offer. The students will experience earning losses from graduating during a recession.
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the world economy into a huge recession. Every sector has been affected by the wrath of this pandemic. A lot of teachers have lost their jobs due to unwanted redundancies that have surfaced in recent times. Moreover, schools and universities used to operate as mini-cities and used to generate a lot of revenue. Students’ off-campus spending used to support other local businesses like restaurants, cafes, hotels, etc. This domino effect has had far-reaching implications that are hard to quantify.
The student literacy rate is slowing down during school closures that in turn is impacting student’s careers.