Prof. (Dr.) Kalpana Singh, Head Department of Applied Sciences, Greater Noida Institute of Technology: Impact of COVID-19 on education sector

Prof. (Dr.) Kalpana Singh

In the past one month the cases of COVID -19, has exponentially increased across United States, Europe, Asia and Middle East and most of the countries have announced or implemented partial or complete lockdown. These decisions have led millions of students into temporary ‘home-schooling’ situations, especially in some of the most heavily impacted countries, like China, South Korea, Italy, USA, India and Iran. These changes have caused a degree of inconvenience, but they have also prompted new examples of educational innovation. Although it is too early to judge how reactions to COVID-19 will affect education systems around the world, there are signs suggesting that it could have a lasting impact on the trajectory of learning innovation and digitization.

As a result of this, there have been multiple announcements suspending attendance at schools and universities. As of March 13, the OECD estimated that over 421 million children are affected due to suspension of school, colleges and universities across globe. In the wake of lockdown most of the colleges and universities have decided to continue the teaching- learning process via online platforms.

In past few weeks, we have seen learning consortiums and coalitions taking shape, with diverse stakeholders – including governments, publishers, education professionals, technology providers, and telecom network operators – coming together to utilize digital platforms as a temporary solution to the crisis. In emerging countries where education has predominantly been provided by the government, this could become a prevalent and consequential trends to future education.

In India, AICTE recommended various online e-learning portals: DIGITAL LIBRARY, SWAYAM, NPTEL, VIRTUAL LABS (provide remote-access to Labs in various disciplines of Science and Engineering), SPOKEN TUTORIAL, E-YANTRA & TALK TO TEACHER. These e-learning platforms would help students at the undergraduate level, PG level as well as research level. Various universities and colleges have started using several app and software to ace the teaching/learning process. Microsoft software, zoom app, google classroom etc has supported the application.

Such initiatives by the govt has received a positive response from both the teachers as well as students and parents, teachers have the opinion that learning via such online platform has not only simplified the typically classroom teaching but also provide a different learning experience. Teachers further shared that students were able to grasp much faster than what they used to grasp during classroom lectures.students on the other hand shares that now they don’t have to travel long distances to reach colleges. They can comfortably sit back and understand the important concepts at home. they further feel that they were able to analyse and understand the topics taught by the teachers without any problems. Amidst of all the positive aspects there are several problems and challenges which are faced by the students due to poor connectivity issues, poor internet speed and costly data plans

Under the leadership of Chairman Shri B. L. Gupta, Greater Noida Institute of Technology, affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi has started teaching – learning process through Zoom App, and helped the students by online notes, Assignments, Question Bank and Video lectures.

The slow pace of change in academic institutions globally is lamentable, with centuries-old, lecture-based approaches to teaching, entrenched institutional biases, and outmoded classrooms. However, COVID-19 has become a catalyst for educational institutions worldwide to search for innovative solutions in a relatively short period of time. The pandemic is also an opportunity to recall ourselves of the skills students need in this unpredictable world such as informed decision making, creative problem solving, and perhaps above all, adaptability. To ensure those skills remain a priority for all students, resilience must be built into our educational systems as well.