The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we study, work, and live.
Closure of schools has a catastrophic impact on society, and the UNESCO studies summarize some of it as follows:
-Interrupted learning: Schooling provides essential learning and when schools close, children and youth are deprived of opportunities for growth and development. The disadvantages are disproportionate for under-privileged learners who tend to have fewer educational opportunities beyond school.
-Schools are hubs of social activity and human interaction. When schools close, many children and youth miss out on social contact that is essential to learning and development.
Post Covid Scenario-
It is a ‘back to school’ time of the year like no other: countries are beginning to reopen their school gates following months of enforced closures. Education authorities around the world must urgently prepare for in-school learning to start up again, knowing that schools and students face unprecedented challenges in the wake of the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools will be making changes to their policies and operations with several goals: supporting learning; providing important services, such as school meals, extended daycare, extracurricular activities, and social services; and limiting the transmission of COVID-19 virus.
Few preparations needs to be done before we begin-
As schools reopen under appropriate health and safety protocols, school leaders will face a new set of challenges including syllabus completion and teaching methodologies, remedial academic support, new sanitation guidelines and possibly closing schools again in response to public health needs.
While the hurdles seem overwhelming, the outcome will lead to learning for students, professional work environments for parents, and an eventual balance in the society. Schools now need to plan certain design changes for the post-Covid-19 world keeping the social distancing norm.
For Teachers- Grace Stevens in her book “Teaching in the Post-Covid classroom” shares few practical strategies for teachers.
- Blended Learning or Hybrid learning.
- Cultivate class community with students on campus, at home, or both
- Design an effective distance learning plan and be confident using the technology.
- Reduce busy work and prioritize curriculum that engages students.
- Positively manage behavior in class and online
For Parents and Students
Develop daily routines before and after school—for example, things to pack for school in the morning (like hand sanitizer and an additional (back up) mask) and things to do when you return home (like washing hands immediately and washing masks).
Talk to your child about precautions to take at school. Children may be advised to:
- Wash and sanitize their hands more often.
- Keep physical distance from other students.
- Wear a mask.
- Avoid sharing objects with other students, including water bottles, devices, writing instruments, and books.
- Use hand sanitizer (that contains at least 60% alcohol.) Make sure you’re using a safe product.
- Monitor how they feel and tell an adult if they are not feeling well
- Reinforce the concept of physical distancing with your child.
Commitment made today in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic will have long term consequences for the futures of education. We must build narratives for what the new reality could look like. We have to nurture the thoughts that give us hope for rethinking and reconstruct how the world works.