The coronavirus pandemic has affected the whole world and almost all sectors of the economy are hit. Business is at an all-time low with the global economy struggling to recover. The global pandemic is affecting majorly all the sector on which a countries economy would run such as tourism and hospitality, medical supplies and other global value chains, and other financial market and transportation and energy to name a few sectors. The efforts taken by the governments of social distancing to contain the disease is hitting hard on the economy of all the countries.
Another sector which has been hit hard is the education sector. Most governments around the globe have temporarily closed down schools and other educational institutions in order to contain the spread of the virus. It is estimated that approximately 1.725 billion students across the globe have been affected due to these closures. According to UNICEF, 98.6 percent of the student population worldwide has been affected with the damage on this sector still ongoing due to the failure of containing the virus.
This pandemic has also highlighted the other social and economic problems related to the education sector. Student debts, food insecurity, digital learning, homelessness and access to childcare, health care and housing are some of the issues highlighted. The most affected are the students who were very unprivileged who did not have access to proper housing as well as basic access to education and food nutrition.
In light of school terminations, UNESCO suggested the utilization of distance learning projects and open instructive applications and mediums that schools and educators can use to arrive at students remotely and limit the interruption of education.
Source – adamasuniversity
There are many negative impacts which have affected the education system. Many social and economic losses and issues have been highlighted. Many children are at a disadvantage because it has not only affected learning but also affected many families who could not work and other related problems. The relationship with teachers which the students share is highly affected and the children who are parent-less are more at a disadvantaged position. The learning which a student gets in a school due to the physical presence of teachers is unmatchable to the online education system.
Due to the pandemic, all institutions have adopted the method of distance learning so that education keeps on moving at its same place. Many institutions have started conducting online lecture via videoconferencing and started to take lectures on online platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams to name a few platforms. This method has enabled the students and teachers to access to study material way beyond the textbooks and has given a broader scope of learning and the norm of social distancing is also maintained which is very important.
The major disadvantage due to conducting lectures online is that all students do not have the resources or internet connection. Students coming from unprivileged families do not have the access to the technology. Good connectivity is a major obstacle in the rural areas and many students in our countries come from rural areas, so they are at a disadvantage position. Many libraries are also shut and students who do not have an internet connection or a poor connection are suffering since they are not able to access to these e-facilities.
Many students whose exams were to be held have been cancelled and this is a serious issue. Students are just passed on the basis of their previous performances and many students are suffering because they must have not performed well in the past and do not get and equal opportunity. Many other important exams like entrances and board exams are also lying with uncertainty without any response from authorities.
Due to the closure of schools, the nutrition of many students is also compromised. Many of the students studying in our country were from and in rural areas where usually the children lack nutrition and other basic requirements in the food contents. The mid-day meal program in India used to serve 9.78 crore children throughout the country. Now, due to the closure of schools, the nutrition is also compromised, and the children are not able to get their basic needs also since all the schools are closed where this meal used to be served.
Another major impact on the children is their ability on learning outcomes. Since the schools are closed, the students are not able to get education properly and under privileged children suffer more due to lack of resources. Since the schools are closed, this responsibility comes on the parents of the students and at times, they may also not be able to teach them properly due to their lack of education or ability to perform the task effectively which affects the child.
Source – Woman’s day
India sends the 2nd largest number of students to study abroad after China. This year, due to the pandemic this section of education will also be affected strongly. Many countries will not be reluctant to take students coming from abroad to study because there may be fears of the students coming with the virus back to the country. Until and unless the travel restrictions by several countries is not lifted like the US, UK Canada etc. which are the most attended countries by Indian students abroad there will be no difference and movement in this part.
Some universities across the UK and the US are giving international students the option to defer their courses to the next semester or year, while others have mandated online classes until the situation improves but it is unlikely that Indian students will enroll for this program of online classes because they do not want to spend so much of the money taken on loans and invest in inline lectures which the universities will find it hard to implement due to the different time zones of various countries and not to mention the other technical problems which will arise due to online mode of learning.
Many student’s visas may get rejected and this in-turn will be a disadvantage for many students because those who waited for their chance many years and now have the capability to go abroad, and study will lose out on their chance to study abroad.
Even if the travel restrictions ease down and universities start taking in students, they will have to face many other problems. The norm of maintaining social distancing between students among them in campuses, hostels and classes will be expensive and in turn the fees of the university will be increased where Indian students would not like to invest in this stage considering the current situation.
The students who are already studying abroad and have not been able to come back to India are facing many other problems.
They are not able to get practice social distancing and the cost of living for them has also increased with no mode of income as many students who went abroad are also on a part time job and there are now chances that they may lose their jobs and may face discrimination in many aspects. Many students’ graduation is also at risk since they will not be able to find proper jobs.
Source – news.un.org
The problem of pandemic is not getting solved anytime soon and we have to survive along with the virus side by side. The virus has affected the education sector very severely and major losses are being occurred to students. The consequences which have resulted due to the virus, has created a very negative impact. The learning of students is at a very high risk due to the pandemic and school closures. Students are suffering in innumerable ways and there is no solution coming out of it.
Students who are planning to go abroad and are currently in foreign universities are also suffering. It can be assumed that due to the pandemic, study in abroad will be affected at a large scale with countries not willing to accept students considering the ongoing crisis. Any student’s dreams of studying abroad have been shattered and students who couldn’t return to India are also in great difficulties. It would now be interesting to see what consequences of the virus in the near future and what impact are will it create on this industry. Time will be a major factor in deciding the future of education in India and abroad.
Written by- Aliasgar Challawala
Edited by- Riya Shah