THE PANDEMIC AND THE NEW NORMAL
It is true that the current COVID-19 pandemic and the psychological effect that it brings about has caused many changes in the personal, social, economic, and academic spheres.
In response to the Coronavirus crisis, authorities of most tertiary institutions after been at a Crossroads over how to manage the academic activities of their institution were pushed to think outside the corner. The result of this was the adoption of the E-learning format. This was for the need to resume academic activities while implementing strategies to sustain and ramp up the fight against COVID-19.
Noting that it is the responsibility of every stakeholder to comply with protocols and regulations to mitigate the effect of the Coronavirus by strict implementation of public health measures, the E-learning format is a good initiative which had brought awareness to New possibilities in reviving our education system, a system where time and space would no longer be a hindrance to learning. While this new trend and pattern of learning is appreciated, there are some questions about how effective it is as a teaching and learning method.
Research on online learning and teaching shows that they are effective only if students have consistent
access to the internet and computer or smartphones and if teachers have received targeted training and
support for online instruction. Because these needed requirements may not be available for many, remote education during this pandemic is going to impede smooth learning and effective teaching.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced learning time because of the need for social distance. Reduced learning time will largely impede students learning and also affect the development of the whole child. Because during the times before the outbreak, there was quality learning time through the extended schedule, after-school activities, more personalized instruction, and other staffing strategies that assisted students to achieve academic success.
The pandemic has exacerbated well-documented opportunity gaps that put low-income students at a disadvantage relative to their better-off peers and therefore reduced the academic records of many tertiary institutions. One of the most critical opportunity gap is the uneven access to the devices and internet access critical to learning online. The pandemic has increased the limitations of standardized tests, which reward a narrow set of skills and more.
Conclusively, a plan should be put in place for addressing the adverse impact of COVID-19 on education such as the provision of urgent resources to tertiary institutions so that students may return to in-school operations. The system should also be redesigned to focus on nurturing the whole child, balancing cognitive with socio-emotional skills development.
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