Series of articles on Higher Education post the pandemic
It has been just about two months since 11 March 2020 when the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic, about ten weeks since it was declared a public health emergency, and a little over four months since the disease was reported. This pandemic has, as we increasingly realize, the potential to change the entire world order. In some quarters this is already seen as a historical divide, BC (before Corona) and AC (after Corona).
Across the globe educational systems at all levels have been seriously impacted even in this short span of time. The virus SARS-CoV-2 (and the diseases it causes, COVID-19) has affected all schools, colleges and universities. By mid-March mostly, these have all been shut: classes have been suspended, examinations, research work and virtually all laboratory experiments have been forced to hit the “pause button”. Students everywhere are in limbo, facing an uncertain present, and a more uncertain future.
Although the University Grants Commission and many universities have quickly decided to conduct classes and examinations online, its implementation in the country is not an easy task. Access to smartphones and the internet is still very limited. At the same time, it is undeniable that technology can play a big role in offering alternatives to regular academic activities, so one effect of this pandemic may well be to bring significant changes in the traditional education sector in regards with the use of technology as a tool for learning. How administrators and teachers respond to this difficult time will decide the future.
Every discipline faces distinct challenges when it comes to online learning. Courses which have always had a laboratory component will need a redesign. Compared to urban students, rural students might face more challenges when the traditional methods of learning give way to new pedagogic techniques. Education will have to adapt. The present discussion aims to explore these issues.
Now is as good a time as any to start thinking about these matters. Online classes have been thrust upon all sorts of institutions largely because there seem to be few options, but the experience so far has been very mixed. This discussion is therefore intended to gather the experiences and thoughts about the present and future of the education with regard to the pandemic, from academicians and non-academics cutting across disciplines and geographical boundaries.
Articles already published in this series:
- Post-COVID Higher Education – a perspective by Sandeep Sen
- The impact of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on the education sector in India by Sudakshina Gupta
- COVID-19 and learning history by Marilyn Gracey Augustine
- COVID-19 risks deepening existing disparities in Indian Educational institutions by V Madhurima
- The COVID-19 pandemic and mathematics at JNU by Riddhi Shah
- The impact of COVID-19 on education at AMU by Qudsia Tahseen
- Experiential learning in India during the COVID-19 pandemic by K. Prahalad
- How COVID-19 has redefined education in India by Ambili Thomas
- Can simulated lab experiences replace real physics labs in a post-Covid India? by Vikrant Yadav and Asya Darbinyan