One of the immediately obvious questions raised by lockdown was how to continue educational activities. Unfortunately, the closing of schools has resulted in an uphill battle for educators and academics worldwide. Many were forced to improvise to ensure that academic activity doesn’t come to a standstill.
Turning to Digital Alternatives
It became evident in early 2020 that physical schooling was simply impossible. As a result, many countries turned to online learning. The transition was very complicated. However, the ones who managed to move online gained many benefits. For example, the launch of digital kindergarten in Saudi Arabia allowed young students to pursue their education from the safety of their homes. This measure, no doubt, saved many young lives.
Government Support of Academics
One unexpected benefit to the academia of the pandemic was the urgent need for a vaccine resulting in generous funding of scientific research. Countries, where governments were supportive of virologists were the ones who produced the most covid-19 publications. Saudi Arabia, for example, was one of those who led the world in producing covid-19 publications; this happened as an effect of the Human Development Capability Program. It is due to programs like this that investors are beginning to explore the Kingdom.
Grappling With Technology
Most teachers have not been trained to take classes virtually. That’s a fact which had to be dealt with. Many a professor struggled with making MS Teams accounts or generating a zoom meeting. This lack of familiarity, especially in older people, significantly inhibited the learning experience. Some schools and universities then introduced training programs for their employees to help them teach more comfortably online.
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Making School Flexible
The logistical issues posed by online assignments and exams have resulted in teachers becoming more flexible. This has resulted in an overall realization that rigid deadlines and strict testing are not necessary for good education. With the advent of open-book exams, memorization is no longer the focus of education. This is a blessing in disguise for teachers and students, it is hoped that the lessons learned from this pandemic will be carried on even when things go back to normal.
While the notorious virus has created many problems, it has also prompted us to get out of our comfort zones and look at our education system from a new perspective. Hopefully, the lessons that have been learnt isn’t forgotten.