The novel coronavirus has affected every aspect of life. Economically, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen millions of people lose their sources of income. Socially, many people have lost their loved ones to the pandemic, and most other social activities have been halted.
Education is one of the hugely impacted sectors. Schools have been closed indefinitely, and students are at home. It has disrupted the normal learning. To complete courses, some schools have opted to shift to online learning.
The shift has not been seamless for most schools. Institutions have faced a myriad of issues, which has exposed the unpreparedness of most learning institutions in handling crises.
Good thing, we have seen some positives where stakeholders come in and try to address all these challenges. For the learning institutions that can’t do anything but wait for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic to end, there are lessons they’ve picked.
We expect that the decisions to be made in learning institutions after COVID-19 will be shaped by the events of this crisis. Some of the important lessons we expect schools to pick from the pandemic include:
Having Teams in Addition to Structures
Most learning institutions have pre-existing structures that are relied upon during a crisis. The problem with such organizational structures is the lack of creativity because they are created for fixed purposes. COVID-19 has exposed the flaws of the majority of pre-existing structures in crisis management.
Institutions that have teams for crisis management, on the other hand, have been more efficient in handling the unexpected. Teams with able people with the capacity to come up with policies and implement them. Setting up crisis teams across the different levels of the institutions rather than just having structures to address the crisis is more efficient.
Develop Robust Systems for Online Learning
Many colleges and universities are now opting for online learning to carry on their regular classes during this pandemic. Some of the most used online platforms include tools like video programs. While the majority of the learning institutions in the world are integrating distance learning, it has posed a challenge to move all programs online.
The solution, as most education centers have found out, is to develop robust systems that will accommodate the increased demand. Institutions have to work with their IT departments closely to strengthen their online systems and transfer their programs online.
Besides having live classes where tutors schedule specific times to conduct classes, there should be videos available on the school’s online platforms that students can access and study at their own time.
Public-Private Educational Collaborations are Critical
In the past few months, many associations have taken shape, where many stakeholders, such as government, education, and technology experts, among others, have come together to provide solutions to the crisis. Even for countries where education is primarily offered by the government, the partnerships between stakeholders have taken center stage. It seems to be the trend going forward.
An example of such a partnership is the Hong Kong-based readtogether.hk forum. It is a partnership of more than 60 educational organizations, media, and publishers offering educational assets. The readtogether.hk forum has more than 900 learning tools, including books, videos, and assessment tools for students.
Such innovations clearly depict the significant role the public-private educational collaborations are playing in providing education solutions.
New Learning Opportunities
Universities and colleges have embraced online classes and distance learning. As education switch from the physical classes to online classes, some students have realized that remote learning works better for them. As such, schools should prepare for an exodus from most students from regular classes to online classes.
Students who are newly introduced to distance learning are expected to explore these new opportunities. More learners are likely to pursue their degrees online even after the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is because it is more affordable and gives students the flexibility to learn with varying schedules. Studying online also makes it easy for students to get help in doing their assignments online. All a student has to do is to search for ‘write my essay’ online, and select a writing service that suits them. Schools are, therefore, expected to offer more learning opportunities for students to earn their degrees online from anywhere in the world.
This pandemic has disrupted the way of life. Still, it is not all gloom because just like with other pandemics that have come before we shall overcome. We hope we shall come to normalcy soon. And when we do, learning institutions will come out with many lessons to implement post the COVID-19 pandemic.