COVID impact on education
Mushataq Ahmad Bhat
Covid19 pandemic has hit almost all the sectors and that too across the globe. However, the worse hit sector has been the education system across the length and breadth of the globe. The educational institutions were closed from March 2020 and consistent lockdown has turned down the economy as well. Though the educational institutions witnessed a brief opening but things are again turning bad.
The gap between poor and rich has enhanced tremendously. The covid19, has affected every sector to a greater extent. We have also learnt lessons from first wave of covid19. Let us not repeat the mistakes and again go from bad to worse as the second wave of covid19 has reemerged. Let logical steps be taken to deal with pandemic without losing grip on routine life.
There is no denying of the fact that pandemic has eaten into the vitals of society at large, but same cannot be left alone to gallop our educational institutions, especially elementary ones, who are not able to grasp in physical classrooms.
In such scenario the online medium has emerged as a source to educate the young buds, but how can such a system compensate their foundational education. This is agreeable point that online education has been quite helpful for college going students and students at the higher education level.
But what we are losing behind, is precious childhood of little angels, who need physical care, love and warmth to embark on the journey of their academic life. It has been rightly said that primary education is the gate way for university education. You cannot progress at university level if you fail at primary level, as the chief resource passes through the chain of institutions to reach university and other higher institutions.
Thus in the search of gold, we must not lose diamonds. In this turmoil of pandemic primary standard education has suffered to a greater extent. The ongoing second wave of pandemic must not impact the education sector as nothing can be said about the time frame the pandemic may take to subside.
There is no expiry date of this ongoing pandemic. Even recent vaccines developed like covaxin and covieshield have not proved effective in curbing this pandemic. So logically we cannot enforce a re-lockdown and sit indoors.
Also when gardens and parks and all other activities are taking place the temples of education cannot be turned into empty spaces. This is not a fact that covid19 infects souls in schools only. We have to live with covid19 unless and until highly effective vaccine is not produced.
Besides, let us be rational in our approach to deal with crisis of pandemic like taking precautionary measures which alone prevent us from infecting for which guidelines are already in vogue, like – using sanitizers, wearing mask and keeping a good social distance and continuously washing hands with soap.
The same things are normally given preference in schools and wherever schools opened for the brief period, teaching was carried on in shifts that too while adhering to SOPs.
In addition to this, during sunny days students could be taught in open fields, to mitigate the crisis. Thus there must not be not an iota of doubt to enforce lockdown again on the education sector. The closure of educational institutions will damage the educational system besides shatter the economy as well, which is now slowly recovering.
Government also needs to check SOP’s, in different institutions as well .Closing schools, is an irrational thought. Let us work while at the same time follow SOP’s. Enforcing lockdown has caused secondary problems as well like –more domestic violence, more drug addiction, more thefts, more suicides and what not.
Let us learn to live with covid19 pandemic more rationally and pragmatically, and shun the attitude to turn lives of people into half dead and to see grown up army of uneducated lot.
(The author is a teacher by profession)