The coronavirus crisis affects 1.570 million students: How to deal with the tsunami?
According to UNESCO data, as of April 14, 2020, the coronavirus crisis-affected 1 570 million students in 192 countries who are studying preschool, primary, secondary, high school, undergraduate, and graduate degrees. This impact represents more than 91.4% of the world student population. Especially serious is the greater impact on girls, due to the consequences they may suffer.
Students who have seen the environment and place of learning vary, practically from one day to the next, along with their study habits and dynamics. To the abandonment of the central place of gathering of knowledge, the classroom, and the space of relation for the youngest, the patio or similar, it is added the impossibility of carrying out other types of annexed activities, whether sports or cultural, that generate value in your process of health habits and personal growth.
To these adverse and unexpected circumstances, living with adults at home has been added, who sometimes cannot be aware of their progress or even pay adequate attention, either because they have to work or telework, or because they don’t have the right knowledge to help their children.
Additionally, it is required and required to ensure a distance that prevents the spread of the disease.
When learning stops
Unesco also points out the negative consequences of the closure of schools, among which the following stand out learning is interrupted; the feeding of children decreases to school being the place of normal daily nutritional intake; inequality is reflected in accessing digital education systems, and dropout rates are increasing.
In these circumstances and at a global level, our young people see added to the educational knowledge of subjects designed by each educational system, the maturity supervening by overcoming exceptional circumstances that influence their survival.
Knowledge will no longer be acquired by “traditional methods”, but responses from “another world” have had to be activated, in many cases from scratch. Despite the creation and generation of a “parallel system”, which the educational community has been activating since the end of the last century, the paralysis in the classes has affected face-to-face and / or traditional education and training. Although it has not caused a complete suspension of teaching, it has affected their future.
The student has been affected by a parenthesis that causes uncertainty, a new way of learning that generates doubts, and a system for evaluating their knowledge that has not been tested or proven with the same criteria as the usual and classic ones so far.
The tensions of the educational system
The education system has been under very short-term stress and has felt challenged and questioned. Faced with centuries of permanent effort to increase the levels of knowledge of millions of human beings, the pandemic has emerged as a tenacious competitor that has demanded the best and in record time from the actors of the educational community.
The World Bank figures in 2018 educational spending as 4.5% of GDP worldwide, being on average 14.5% of spending by the governments of each country. Therefore, a sector with a high weight in the economy and society has been forced almost overnight to an extreme reconversion in its way of acting.
Education is a continuous process of learning, of gathering knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors for which perseverance, tolerance to frustration, curiosity, resilience, energy, and motivation are required.
Communication between people has undergone a dizzying advance since the end of the last century. The physical distance, which made it impossible to talk to others, was solved more than a hundred years ago with the telephone. At present, there is no longer any physical distance: mobile phone, contact applications, or voice, and audio applications make it easy to be in permanent connection.
These elements have allowed the encounter between the “virtual world” and learning systems. Thanks to various initiatives in the form of platforms, software, and other types of resources, teacher-student interaction is facilitated, under both a synchronous and asynchronous scheme.
A new world, unexplored methods
Responses worldwide have been diverse. UNESCO organized a video conference in early March 2020 with representatives from more than 70 countries. The objective: to create a crisis group that will encourage help among the participants. Ministries of Education around the world have launched initiatives of online courses, television lessons, digital platforms with different services, or educational television programs.
On the other hand, the European Commission has compiled the instruments available for educators, or information on various educational projects of different content and levels.
Teachers face an unexpected challenge. They have to guarantee massive learning with resources not used until now and evaluate knowledge using unexplored methods. There is resistance to these new methods from both perspectives, both educators and students. Education will be forced to adjust and have alternative plans that mitigate the incidence of situations as devastating as those suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic. Published by studentsspeakout.org