The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected global education systems. This guide gives some insight to teachers, heads of institutions and officials on the best way to navigate through the crisis. What steps should learn institutions make in the short period available, and how do they meet the needs of their students in various levels of study? Assuring students and parents is an essential aspect of institutional response.
This brief piece guides teachers, state officials and institution heads who have to manage the impact of this pandemic on the education system. It addresses:
Steps that systems could take
- The requirements of students at different levels and stages
- Reassurance to students and parents
- Approaches to remote learning
- Post COVID-19
- Important resources
Most states played catch up to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, so institutions had no time to prepare for remote learning. If possible, the preparations could have entailed:
Seeing to it that students carried the books they needed to study home.
Finalising on all the pending stuff such as test results and reports. In the north part of the globe, many teachers were trying to project the end year exam grades for submission with the students applying for their admission to tertiary institutions. Even looking at Hampshire teaching jobs to draft in added and very much needed staff. Depending on whether they made these predictions before or after the suspension of these exams, they could have been different, leading to anxiety in the students and teachers.
Preparing and Training Staff: arrangements for safeguarding, splitting of tasks between departments, processes for teachers to stay in touch collectively for support; and simple updates on various learning technologies they might have been familiar with. Most learning institutions planned to leverage technology in teaching. Still, the spread of the coronavirus implied that the changes that had been projected to be rolled out in a couple of months or years had to be implemented in days.
Different Students, Varying Requirements
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected students’ lives in many ways, not only in regard to their education and study but also on the point which they had got in their programmes. Those close to the end of one phase in their education and those transitioning to a different level such as from school to tertiary, or from tertiary to employment face various changes. They won’t be able to finish their school curriculum and assessment normally, and in most cases, they have been isolated from their social group without warning. Students who make the switch to tertiary education later these years are less probable to take up offers to sit their end of year school exams later.
Even those midway through their programmes will face a lot of uncertainty until a clear plan of how their studies will be reinstated after the pandemic. Most of the COVID-19 cohort of students will be worried about some long-term implications compared to those who normally studied when they are required to switch to another level of study or enter the job market.
While the techniques used to facilitate remote learning will differ between the various levels they are used to teach, the needs of special skill sector programmes such as the Technical and Vocational Education and Training require special attention. The people who graduate from such a program play an integral role in economic recovery. Offering the practical skills, they need through remote learning is possible, but requires a lot of planning. The Commonwealth of Learning is an essential point of reference for TVET in developing countries.