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The Global Impact Of Covid-19 On Education That No One Wants To Talk About
Most countries have ordered total lockdowns during the peak of the pandemic, and schools were shut down. No one would have been able to predict that the whole world would be disrupted by a virus. The shift to online learning was quick, and there was no time to consider the effects it could have on learners. Education policymakers around the world struggle with safe school reopening and distance learning provisions. They wonder what the outbreak means for education in the long-term. The global impact of the virus includes:
Millions of Kids Won’t Return to School
Despite the strides in enrolment over the past 20 years, 268 million kids were out of school when the outbreak occurred. When the schools reopen, more than this number may not return. Children of households with economic problems as well as adolescents are vulnerable because they are at risk of early marriage or pregnancy. Save The Children released a report that analyzed children’s out-of-school rates. This analysis suggested that 9 million children stand a risk of leaving school, with Mali, Niger, and Chad at the top of the list. The World Bank also predicted that around 7 million kids would be out of school.
Learning Loss Will Worsen Inequality
Kids in different countries didn’t get any education for months. Even before the pandemic, there was a learning crisis that will be more severe due to the lengthy school closures. However, learning loss will not be the same for all students. Wealthier households will not lose as much because they seek out distance learning opportunities. Such students are exposed to online courses to build their skill set in different topics. Some choose to learn to code using resources like computersciencehero.com. Poorer households may not have this capability as the parents struggle to make ends meet.
EdTech Will Not be an Equaliser
Educators hope that EdTech will solve the problem of halted learning during the crisis. Sadly, there isn’t any evidence that tech can reduce inequality or replace teachers. Ministries of education and tech organizations around the world launched new applications as well as free trials to encourage children to keep learning. However, the short-term closures continue to stretch across several months, and EdTech has not been able to provide a viable substitute for the problem.
Despite the tech boom during the pandemic, EdTech firms still record low usage. EdTech in Africa grew by 100 percent before the outbreak. Some months after the school closures, only 1 million out of 500 million kids are using EdTech. The reason for this is the lack of access to technology. EdTech relies on tech that some families may not be able to afford. In low-income and even middle-income countries, 1 in 5 homes has Internet access while 1 in 2 has a radio or TV access. In the US, the digital divide is obvious and follows the lines of race, income, and geography.
The Education Industry Will be Disrupted and the Public Sector Strained
Government-owned schools fared better during the peak of the pandemic because employees still received salaries. Proprietors of private schools have a different story to tell since the schools were shut down. Some were forced to fire teachers and give up their rented school premises. Many could not generate revenue and some had to reduce the fees to make it affordable for low-income families. This group may still have problems with getting new enrolments when the outbreak ends because so many families lost jobs and won’t be able to pay fees.
The pandemic impacted the education sector so much that schools had to be closed without notice. Online learning was introduced to bridge the gap and continue education. Sadly, this is still not enough to cover the backlog that learners face finishing each class. This event has also increased the number of out-of-school kids in the world as non-governmental organizations predict that some children will be unable to continue schooling. Some disadvantaged kids will be left behind while others from high-income families will use this time to increase their skillset. Coding bootcamps became more popular, and more students have been using them to learn new skills that can place them ahead of their peers in a tech-inclined future.
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