Coronavirus pandemic has significantly disrupted various sectors in India including oil and gas, automobiles, aviation, agriculture, retail, etc. We can’t ignore that hardly a sector would remain unaffected by the crisis. The impact may be more or less. Same is with the education sector in India. Let us find out the impact of coronavirus on education in India with some possible solutions.
As we know that due to coronavirus pandemic the state governments across the country temporarily started shutting down schools and colleges. As per the present situation, there is an uncertainty when schools and colleges will reopen. No doubt, this is the crucial time for education sector because entrance tests of several universities and competitive examinations are held during this period. Along with them how can we forget about board examinations, nursery school admissions, etc?
The immediate solution of coronavirus is necessary or if like these days pass then closure of schools and colleges does not even have short term impact in India but can even cause far-reaching economic and societal consequences. Let us tell you that due to the closedown of educational institutes it is estimated to affect around 600 million learners across the world. Remember here we are talking about the school going students.
First, let us see what all educational institutions are doing to fight against COVID-19.
Measures taken by the educational institutes are as follows:
– Closed schools
– Postponed or rescheduled the examinations
– Cleaning and sanitisation of premises.
– Consideration of long term uncertainty etc.
Education sector: Impact and concern during COVID-19
– As discussed above, all major entrance examinations are postponed including engineering, medical, law, agriculture, fashion and designing courses, etc. This situation can be a ringing alarming bell mainly in private sector universities. Maybe some faculties and employees may face salary cuts, bonuses and increments can also be postponed.
– The lockdown has generated uncertainty over the exam cycle. May be universities may face impact in terms of a slowdown in student internships and placements, lower fee collection that can create hurdles in managing the working capital.
– Another major concern is that it can affect the paying capacity of several people in the private sector, which is catering to a sizeable section of the students in the country.
– Student counselling operations are also affected.
– Several institutions may pause faculty hiring plans for existing vacancies which in turn affect quality and excellence.
– Structure of schooling and learning includes teaching and assessment methodologies and due to closure, it will be affected.
– Technology may play an important role in the lockdown period like study from home and work from home. In India, some private schools could adopt online teaching methods. Low-income private and government school may not be able to adopt online teaching methods. And as a result, there will be completely shut down due to no access to e-learning solutions. In addition to the opportunities for learning, students will also miss their meals and may result in economic and social stress.
– Higher education sectors are also disrupted which again pave an impact on the country’s economic future. Various students from India took admissions in abroad like the US, UK, Australia, China etc. And these countries are badly affected due to COVID-19. Maybe there is a possibility that students will not take admissions there in future and if the situation persists, in the long run then there will be a decline in the demand for international higher education also. Isn’t it!
– Another major concern is employment. Students those have completed their graduation may have fear in their minds of withdrawal of job offers from the corporate sector due to the current situation. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s estimates unemployment shortage from 8.4% in mid-March to 23% in early April. In the urban unemployment rate is 30.9%.
We can’t ignore that technology plays a crucial role in the educational system and the demand for the current situation is this only.
Possible alternatives or solutions for interrupted education during COVID-19
– With the help of power supply, digital skills of teachers and students, internet connectivity it is necessary to explore digital learning, high and low technology solutions, etc.
– Students those are coming from low-income groups or presence of disability, etc. distance learning programs can be included.
– To provide support for digitalisation to teachers and students.
– The necessity to explore digital learning platforms.
– Measures should be taken to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on job offers, internship programs, and research projects.
– EDtech reform at the national level that is an integration of technology in the present Indian education system.
We can’t ignore that at this time of crisis effective educational practice is needed for the capacity-building of young minds. Central Government and State need to take some measures to ensure the overall progress in the country. Time never wait, this tough time will also pass. Till then stay safe, stay at home!