Covid-19 – How The Pandemic Could Change Education

My article was recently published in the school newspaper.

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Here is the text version:

Our World is going through a rather disconcerting time right now, and while we may be  uneasy about the situation, the experience gained by us could prove to be very valuable for the future.

All of us have been at home for many weeks now. In the beginning, I was delighted at the prospect of no school. But as time passed, days got longer, and time started to pass evermore slowly. This was the time when online classes started.

As we progressed with our online classes, we have learnt quite a lot about how Internet and online platforms can help us collaborate and learn. More importantly, this relatively new paradigm also has potential to impact lives of those who are less fortunate.

The Future of Remote Education

With more and more developments in technology, our education system can do with some reforms. This pandemic has forced us to make use of online learning platforms. This can have far reaching impact in terms of how it can phenomenally increase access, efficiency and practicality of education worldwide. 

As we develop more ways of learning, we can employ these concepts and platforms for remote or distance learning to reach areas that don’t have access to physical infrastructure or trained teachers. 

Distance learning will increase access to education for students worldwide. Unesco has estimated that about 263 million children don’t get to go to school. Primary reasons for this are unavailability of schools, poverty, gender and caste biases, lack of teachers and living in war zones. However,  If each kid is given a phone and an internet connection, they could go to school, via these platforms and skills that we are making use of during the pandemic.

This would bring about equitable education across far flung and poorest of regions, making the world a place of not 8 billion people, but 8 billion intellectuals.

Two Sides of the Coin

There’s always a silver lining. On the one hand, Covid-19 has disrupted our daily lives and schooling. On the other hand, it has given us an opportunity to explore new ways of reaching out to kids who don’t have access to schools and teachers. Additionally, several new avenues are now opening up with teachers, coaches and artists taking classes remotely, thus increasing our options to learn.

Let us make the best use of these learnings and make this world a better place.

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