COVID-19 transforms education system Qamreen Khan

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A society is always in a state of transformation. Values and ideas are constantly changing. The transformation occurs due to myriad reasons, such as diseases, natural disasters and, man-made destructions that transform society in a new form.

Throughout history, many revolutions have taken place in the world. In the contemporary world, when the nations were progressing economically, politically, technologically and educationally,  a bad omen appeared in the form of COVID-19; a virus that has not been cured yet.

It started in Wuhan, China, and spread all over the world, and globally it is declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The damage of nations caused by COVID-19 is inevitable, it has disturbed the whole sphere of life. It struck the world like a serpent in paradise. All over the world economy collapsed, social life disturbed, institutions closed and it struck the siren and tranquil world. 

It declined the progress of society and nations have a great loss in their revenue. They all are in a dilemma that how they will recover the economic loss, political stability, and social cohesion. Instead of all the challenges, every individual is trying their best to play a vital role in defeating COVID-19. It has dragged the world back to years of development. It is obvious that, COVID-19 changed the values of society, made many people jobless, and shun development work. It abjured the imports and exports of many nations. However, the most vulnerable sector of this virus was education. In the first wave, educational sectors suffered a lot and again in the second wave, it’s been a target.

Education is the backbone of any nation. Father of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said, “Without education, it is complete darkness and with education it is light.”

The spark of hope within the nation during COVID-19 was remarkable. Everything and everyone suffered but the most inevitable loss was education. To overcome, this situation, students were given the freedom to study from home. Everyone was to abide by the rules of classes.  The government of Pakistan took a grand step of digitalisation, a process of taking classes online. Although it was a difficult period for those teachers and students who do not have access to new technology yet they faced it. 

It was also a challenging moment for those teachers who were used to the traditional teaching method. The courage and determination of teachers are admirable, because they faced this situation with dedication and confidence. However, the interaction between teachers and students during online classes was not so profitable and interactive because of internet issues.  Low- speed internet became the barrier during a lecture.

The additional point to this is, it gave the idea of digitalisation of things and the importance of the internet. The whole nation came to know about the importance of the internet and it created a sense of responsibility among every individual.

It is the responsibility of the government to take major steps and to provide students and teachers with the resources to take online classes. Teachers can afford the laptop and internet bills and for some of them it would be difficult but a majority of the teachers might have laptops and smart phones to take online classes. In the first wave of COVID-19, majority of the students were deprived of the studies due to internet issues. A burning question arises here, had the government played its role in this regard? Point to ponder!

The values and thinking patterns of people changed. It is obvious that COVID-19 transformed society in a way that everyone started thinking differently, their perspective has been changed. The traditional teaching method abruptly changed into modern and technological. There are two facets of online education. First the teachers and second the students. It’s the time to ponder upon their issues and their uncountable struggle. During the pandemic, remote learning became a lifeline for education. 

George Couros said that “Technology will not replace great teachers but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational.” 

Different organisations and institutions selected myriad platforms like zoom, Google meets, and WhatsApp to conduct the classes. This platform was novel to all and it took time to understand the process but it urged the nation to pay heed to future endeavours and aware of them.

In the first wave, everything was new and there were a hustle and bustle of everything. But now things have been changed. We are somehow aware of the process of taking online classes and working online. Unfortunately, the situation is the same as it was in the first wave.

There are a lot of difficulties, teachers and students faced during online classes. First of all, due to low internet speed, their precious time is wasted. Students from morning till 2 o’clock only wait for their classes and try hard to connect for an online lecture. 

Unfortunately, the situation becomes worse. At the end of every lecture they are unable to gain any knowledge and their time is wasted.  However, it should be taken into consideration by the government and specifically by the school administration itself. Secondly, taking into account the problems of parents it is highlighted that, they are facing a lot of difficulties, it is challenging and impossible for them to pay school fee, internet bills and to facilitate their all children with laptops and mobiles at a time. 

Digital technology offers entirely new answers to the question of what people learn, how they learn, and where and when they learn. The children of tomorrow are those children who only know and deal with the digitalisation of things. It is important to aware them about the digitalisation of things. However, there are two facets of everything, every disaster brings and adds something new to the society. History reveals that after every disaster, society transformed and changed into a new society.

In conclusion, education should not be ignored in any society.  The government should take steps to solve the highlighted issues. COVID-19 has badly changed society and it illustrates the growing chaos in the world. In the second wave, it has taken a more dangerous turn and everyone should play their due role in defeating this virus. The current crisis has tested our ability to deal with large-scale disruptions. It is now up to us to build as its legacy a more resilient society. Through their role in developing the competencies and skills needed for tomorrow’s society, education systems will need to be at the heart of this planning. This includes rethinking how the economy should evolve to guard against adversity, and defining the skills, education, and training required to support it.

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