Education in the pre-COVID world was a standard procedure. Students go to school, college, or institution, attend their classes, teachers teach them on an in-person basis, and then back home, after the stipulated number of hours. COVID has shaken this age-old system to the point where it has almost broken down. Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. School closures in response to the pandemic has affected approximately 1.277 billion learners around the globe. Let’s take an in-depth look into the education system, as it is still evolving, in the post-COVID era.
In a survey conducted by UNICEF, it was found that 46 countries are currently implementing nationwide closures. 27 countries are implementing local closures, impacting about 72.9 per cent of the world’s student population. 72 countries’ schools are currently open. Keeping that data in mind, it is safe to say that the education system as we know it to have almost ceased to exist and it won’t be back to normal for a very, very long time. E-learning is, as they call it, the ‘new normal’. Technology has stepped up and taken the lead when it was needed to. All across the globe, teachers and students have turned towards applications such as ZOOM, Google Meet, and other virtual platforms to keep the system of teaching and to learn up and to run.
Since its initiation with Macaulay’s Minutes in 1835, the Indian education system was left comparatively unchanged. With COVID-19 turning that system completely topsy-turvy, the government has been forced to face the problems and update it. Also, it was very common for Indian students to opt for foreign higher education in the pre-COVID scenario. Now, however, more and more students are turning to their domestic universities for their higher education. This provides an insane amount of boost to the Indian economy, which is not just welcome, but very necessary.
This new system is not without its issues, however. Many third world countries have a population that lies majorly in the lowest rungs of economic stability. Affording the paraphernalia that is required for E-learning is very difficult for them. This simple fact has put a huge dent in the literacy rate of the world. So, it is safe to say that the shutting down of educational institutes has put a spotlight on many socio-economical issues that had been swept under the rug for a very long period of time and needed to be addressed. More than ever, it has brought to the forefront the huge gaps and problems with the pre-existing world education system and has made them address it.
The education system all over the world needed a reality check. COVID-19 has proven itself to be that for nearly all world governments. With E-learning becoming the norm, it is high time the governments, too, steps to make it available and accessible to all their citizens, irrespective of their economic standing.