The coronavirus started in China and quickly became an outbreak. A few months later, the World Health Organisation declared the virus a pandemic. This was because the rate of infection spread across Asia to the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world. Death rates continued to spike along with unemployment, hunger, and lack of education. The focus of this piece is education. Many people have been focused on the immediate negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the education industry. However, it has done more than keep students from in-person schools. The virus has had far-reaching effects on education, some of which have not been seen yet.
Covid-19’s Impact on Education
Shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic started, parents were asked to take extra precautions to ensure that students stay safe. Sick students were asked to stay at home and everyone was advised to stay far away from sick people. They were also asked to cover their faces and noses when they sneeze. However, as the Covid-19 infection rates increased, schools were closed temporarily along with other sectors. What are the primary consequences of school closures?
1. Lack of Socialization
Education is one of the primary agents of socialization. So, you can imagine how things have been for months because of school closures across the globe. Children are now unable to have face-to-face interactions with their school friends. This makes it hard for them to form lifelong bonds with schoolmates. Socialization is essential to the development of young children and it also helps them to develop social skills. Since the pandemic started, students have only been able to reach out to their peers through social media groups and pages. This is easy for older students but not for younger ones. There is also a risk of social media addiction.
2. Increase in Internet Addiction Amidst Covid-19
After school closures and stay at home orders were put in place in cities with high infection rates, addiction rates also surged. People who were already struggling with addiction lost direct access to their support systems. Students started relying on the Internet for education, socialization, and everything in between. This led to a spike in Internet addiction among learners and workers alike. Internet addiction was already a challenge before the pandemic. Almost every student between 10 and 18 years owns smart devices. Curbing Internet dependence among young people isn’t going to be easy after the pandemic. Schools are already teaching digital responsibility to their students with hopes of curbing addiction and other negative habits that come with using the Internet.
3. Lack of Motivation
Learning isn’t the only thing students look forward to in schools. Most students say that learning is their least favorite thing about schooling. However, they are motivated to go to school because it gives them a chance to interact with their friends, engage in sports, field trips, and other fun activities that come with the package. Without all the other perks of schooling, many students struggle to find the motivation for homeschooling during this pandemic. Some students only thrive in competitive environments and online learning isn’t usually as competitive as in-person schooling. Schools have tried to solve this problem with interactive and collaborative tools.
4. Time and Patience Aren’t Always in Supply
Students who have been forced to school from home need to have patience and time management skills to do it effectively. This isn’t easy especially for younger kids with short attention spans. In schools, these students have a structure that helps them focus and study with little to no distraction. Parents have been assisting their younger children to follow the digital curriculum. However, these parents aren’t always patient enough to see their children through the learning process. This is an especially bad time to expect parents to be in the best position to help their children. Many of them are already going through a lot of emotional stress due to job loss because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s going to take years until the global education industry can fully recover from the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The same thing can be said about every other industry that has been directly affected by Covid-19. For now, schools need to maintain a more fluid approach to teaching. Things might never go back to how they used to be and learning will become more digitized.