Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on school education

The Covid-19 pandemic, basically a health related crisis has in its wrath and fury shattered not only the global health care system but has also caused havoc to the entire global economy and wrecked the educational system out and out.  
As a student, my primary concern apart from health, well being and safety lies in how to pursue my education to prosper in my career, as the educational system has received the rudest jolt. The worldwide closure of all the educational institutions have grossly affected over 90% of the student population hampering the continuity of learning and its paraphernalia there by throwing their prospective careers at stake.  
UNESCO is supporting countries in their valiant effort to mitigate the immediate impact of school closures, particularly for the more vulnerable and disadvantaged communities to facilitate the continuity of education through remote learning.  
The severe short term disruption due to lockdown is being acutely felt by innumerable families around the world.Home schooling, the only way to keep the students in touch with learning, is not only affecting the parents but also taking a heavy toll on these students' social life, learning and creativity.   
Going to school is the best way to enhance the students' learning abilities and honing social skills. Thus, staying away from school, even for a brief period has its negative impact on their development. It blocks the child's lateral and mental growth.   Final examinations of many schools have been cancelled. Various Board examinations have been called off. These students find themselves in a pitiable situation where their education and career have to be compromised with, just because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  
Importantly, these undesirable interruptions are liable to not only short term agony but also cause long term impact for the affected cohorts.  Students might be forced to have a shortened academic session. The syllabus might be tweaked which means these students will acquire lesser knowledge, competence and skill. Interruptions in the penultimate phase of the curriculum will affect the careers of the concerned academic session.  
Schools as well as government should devise constructive strategies to mitigate the negative impact of this lockdown, to make up for the lost time and learning, the students were forced to suffer. As for the primary students their learning activities can be adequately taken care of by their parents. More attention need to be focused on the secondary and higher secondary students, who have been inflicted with the fatal blow of the lockdown.  

It is undeniable that real classroom learning experience in schools can never be sufficiently substituted by any other means. But as of now conducting online classes should be a preferred mode in imparting education.
Though virtual and distant, the students should get the actual feel of learning in a class, interacting with the respective teachers. 
Schools should conduct online tests or reschedule the examination dates instead of doing away with them, knowing their importance. With all schools closed down and students confined to the virtual classroom learning may find it at times monotonous and boring. To instill creativity and fun in this learning process the online classes may introduce chapter-vise assessment through fun quizzes where the students participate, brush up their knowledge in gusto of fun and frolic and may also earn e-certificates according to their merits.  This process would accelerate the active involvement of the students who would know their rank and position and improve accordingly. Each online class should be recorded and made available so that it tailors to the need of the students as and when they desire. 
A module in the online learning may also be introduced where by the parents of every students are briefed accordingly of their child's attendance and progress. This would be very much in tandem with the conventional parents-teachers meeting in all schools. 
The covid-19 pandemic has ushered in a new lifestyle and as humans we need to welcome it, accept it and reframe the art of living as "Change is the only constant in life" as enunciated by Heraclitus. 

Namrata Parbat 
Gokhale Memorial Girls’ School 
Secured 1st Position (GROUP - I) in 
'E-Competition on Creativity' organized by Techno India Group

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