Covid – Impact and Opportunity in the Education Sector

Chandigarh, July 17, 2020: After 4 months we
have started learning how to live
with the Corona virus.
The extraordinary situation has
changed our lives dramatically,
especially as far as Education is
concerned.
For the last four months, the entire
education sector is in limbo.
School education has gone for a
lot of change, the life of kids has
changed a lot, they are glued to the
screen thanks to online education.
Physical exercise, sports, play and
interaction with teachers and new
friends has vanished in the air full
of Virus.
All school educational institutions
are closed, while exams which could
not be conducted after March 20
have been ignored and results
declared after arriving at a formula
by CBSE.
This year, based on averages –
which is a dangerous decision – very
good results have come but the decision
is going to hamper intelligence
in the coming future.
College exams could not be conducted
and studies are at standstill.
For students, almost a year is lost
as they may not be able to pursue
professional courses during 2020.
Competitive exams will also not be
conducted, so many students will
lose a complete year.
The greater impact will certainly
have bigger repercussions for us.
How long will this ontinue is anybody’s
guess.
We cannot sit at home with folded
hands, can we?
We have to convert this problem
into an opportunity.
Four months is sufficient time for
us to introspect.
All of us, sooner or later, might
have seen inside us and made efforts
to come out of this crisis.
One thing is very clear: We have
never faced this situation and we
did not get time to prepare for it.
But another thing is very clear:
We lack the necessary infrastructure
to deal with crisis.
We do not have people who can
successfully do crisis management
in the education sector.
We have to find out ways to educate
our children while following
COVID norms very diligently and
successfully.
Since we have to live with it, we
have to find ways to run schools and
prepare our society in such a way
that our children get a chance to
play.
Now a lot of people will say that
this is not a practical view due to
the Corona threat but we have to
realise that we have to live with it.
We have to review the very concept
of ‘schools’ which are a place
to learn for the entire life but all
schools are made in such a way that
they do not suit the new normal.
Years ago, a Shantiniketan was
made, but the concept was forgotten.
During the present scenario, we
need more and more Shantiniketans
almost in every district where informal
education can be imparted.
For this purpose, we have to
enhance our rural capabilities and
make small pockets of vocational
education and even review the present
system of schools .
Another important aspect is that
our academic year – which is staggered
to July these days so we have
July to March only – and three
months from April to end June are
wasted every year.
CBSE has to review its entire
process and evaluate the answer
sheets within a week of receipt and
all results be declared by end March
only.
The Government of India has
made reforms in the finance sector
and started April to March financial
year.
In the same way, the academic
session could also be fixed for April
to March or from Jan to Dec.
The fury of Winter and Summer
need to be adjusted just like many
countries with acute weather adjust
their working.
Unless we use this difficult time to
find out new opportunities, success
cannot be achieved.
Choice is ours – either we just
keep on cribbing and go along with
our ‘programmed’ life or create a
new world which is always ready for
crisis management for our coming
generations.
(The views expressed are personal
of the author. If you wish to express
your opinion, contact R K Garg at
rtichd27@gmail.com)

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