Having infected millions of people worldwide and causing the deaths of over a million people, the COVID-19 pandemic relentlessly continues to affect everything in our lives. We are helpless as we witness heartrending incidents as people lose their loved ones. Not only does it crucially impact every segment of society, but COVID-19 has also wreaked havoc in the education sector worldwide, disrupting classes and even changing the brick-and-mortar schooling paradigm to remote learning sessions.
In many countries, students are out of school, and they have no idea when they may return to their classrooms. According to UNICEF, 22 million children may never return back to school, and the outcome of this would have devastating results worldwide in general, but children would be the most suffering ones from this COVID-19 crisis.
There are also many disparities of remote learning opportunities for students across the world. Many countries’ infrastructure is not up to the level to provide all the equipment for students to prepare them for online school options. If we also add these numbers to the UNICEF statistics of 22 million students, more than 500 million students are now out of schools. While we used to think a day meant a lot for a child’s education and academic career, they are now out of schools for almost the past year in many countries with no exit plan. It seems no one is able to estimate the prospective adverse effects of this circumstance that students, who are confined to their homes, are in. The progress lost may take years to recover.
All students must be given the same opportunity globally, and international communities and economically strong countries must support the education systems of the other countries that face economic problems during the pandemic. We live in a global village, and it is true. If today’s generations’ education problem is not addressed, millions of youths may be lost in terms of education globally, and no one could risk it. Texas’s education strategy during the pandemic could be an excellent example for the countries, and they may check it and learn how Texas is dealing with education despite all the problems.
As an educationist who is teaching in a Texas school, this year is weird from all the aspects, but we try to engage in education with all the absurdities the year brought to us. While online teaching goes on, precautions for the pandemic are taken and strictly followed. Ten weeks into the schools’ opening in my district, I welcome students in my class daily and emphasize that we depend on each other to protect ourselves from further spread of COVID-19.
Honestly, I was very sceptic that students would sincerely follow the online lessons, but I was proven wrong. When they are asked, they say, “We prefer in-person education, but we are okay with the online sessions until we get rid of the Covid-19.” Seeing my students’ eagerness for learning is the best thing I have experienced at this time. We all fight against the pandemic by doing the right thing not to fall behind anyone academically and keep education going on. Yes, it would not be easy to sustain educational activities and move on despite the pandemic, yet patience, motivation, and support will significantly help everyone to keep morale high.