Author:- Saumya Dwivedi
Education comprises both- intrinsic as well as instrumental values. Education helps in enhancing the inherent dignity of individuals and their attitude towards society. Education is a very powerful weapon that helps an individual to face the adversities of life and overcome societal stigmas such as poverty, fear, status to achieve success. It makes an individual eligible to earn a stronger living resulting in the event of society at massive. an informed person tends to own a novel attitude because it develops explanation thinking.
Education is recognized as necessary as a vital and elementary right globally because it yields important development advantages. COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on higher education. It has affected a large number of children across states, class, caste, gender and region. The shutting down of institutions and universities and the decision of shifting traditional classrooms to digital platforms is not only increasing learning inequality among children but also pushing a large number of children out of school due to the digital divide. Other than learning, the absence of schooling would also have a long-lasting effect on the health and nutrition of children.
THE ARRIVAL OF THE PANDEMIC
The unexampled international health crisis came into the sunshine imposing its adverse effects on everything happening in our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused nice damage to human rights then is, right to education adversely been affected. To safeguard the lives of the Indian citizens, the states obligatory internment, that results in the full closure of colleges, schools and other academic establishments.
Though it was started with the closure of 1 month, continues with no clues of obtaining re-opened. The crisis has adversely affected the lives of the students. As Covid-19 has influenced global higher education, the universities have been responding to Covid-19 in their ways. In India, all academic activities were suspended after the announcement of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to postpone examinations in all universities until the end of March. All the central universities announced to defer all academic activities and close their hostels, and even private universities.
- Impact on Higher Education
Pandemic Covid-19 has severely affected the total educational system of India as well as the globe but some of the most impacted areas of higher education of India are as pointed below.
- Disrupt all educational activities:
The covid-19 outbreak has compelled lockdown in every sector including education. The institutions got closed with the ceasing of educational activities and created many challenges for the stakeholders. So, the various activities like admission, examinations, entrance tests, competitive examinations conducted by various boards/schools/colleges/ universities are postponed. Many entrance tests for higher study got cancelled which created a great challenge in the life of a student of higher education.
However, within a relatively short time, HEIs have been able to provide support to the students through online modes. Covid-19 has accelerated the usage of digital technologies to deliver education. It encouraged all teachers and students to become more technology savvy. The HEIs have started conducting orientation programmes, induction meetings and counselling classes with the help of different e-conferencing tools like Google Meet, Skype, Youtube live, Facebook live, WebEx etc. to provide support services to the students. This initiative has taken to create an effective virtual environment of teaching-learning and to create motivation among students for online activities
- Mixed impact on Academic research & Professional Development:
Covid-19 has both negative and positive impacts on education. If we take the negative side, it has made it impossible for researchers to travel and work together with others nationally and internationally. Some joint research work or project work are made complicated to complete. Some scientific laboratory testing/research work could not be conducted because of the pandemic.
On the positive side, academicians got much time to improve their theoretical research work. Academicians got acquainted with technological methods and improved their research. Webinars and e-conferences became normal methods for sharing expertise among students and academicians around the globe with similar issues. They can get much time to concentrate on professional development by doing research and to improve knowledge by sharing ideas through webinars and e-conferences.
- The educational assessment system severely affected:
Most of the external examinations have been postponed and almost all the internal assessments have been cancelled. The cancellation of assessments has a negative impact on learning. Many institutions have been managing the internal assessments through online mode using different digital tools but the postponement of the external assessments has a direct impact on the educational and occupational future of students’ life.
This uncertainty has created anxiety among students as they are stuck in the same grade/class without promotion. Similarly, many students who had appeared final/board examinations would suffer a lot as, by the time they get their certificates, it might be too late for them to apply for the forthcoming academic year in other countries due to lockdown.
- Reduced employment opportunities:
Many entrance tests job recruitments got cancelled which created negative impact with a great challenge in the life of a student of higher education. There is no recruitment in the Government sector and fresh graduates are under pressure of fearing withdrawal of job offers from corporate sectors because of the pandemic situation. Many students may lose their jobs in India and overseas. The pass out students may not get their job outside India due to various restrictions caused by Covid-19
The unexpected shift to the online mode of education
With Covid-19, we are seeing how yesterday’s disruptors can turn out to be today’s lifeguards. While traditional institutions once viewed online education as a threat, it has come to their rescue. However, lecturers are still struggling to maintain the same depth of engagement with students which they have in a classroom setting.
Any particular method of working becomes successful and adopted widely only when the method is effective and efficient in bringing about a change for the better. The effective ways of teaching, conducting assessments and ensuring teaching-learning to be interesting, engaging and context-specific are crucial for the online mode of education. Some of the partnerships sparked between universities, online education companies and tech providers may continue beyond the pandemic.
However, remote learning is just a first step and experimental in the long journey to offering online education as it includes ensuring effective student engagement tools and teacher training.
Post Covid-19 Trends of Higher Education
Change is inevitable which has been forced upon society due to Covid-19. The opportunities created by the pandemic Covid-19 will lead towards a better tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a new morning that will entirely be in our own hands. New technologies will certainly challenge traditional learning such as classroom lectures, modes of learning and modes of assessment. The new trends will allow the education sector to imagine new ways of teaching-learning and some trends may be pointed as below.
- May encourage personalised learning: Learning may not be confined to classes or to any specific boundaries. Students may be virtual learners with one teacher leading dozens of students in the new age. The learning modules may be modified to suit different learning styles and the learning contents may come from different sources to meet the learners’ aspirations and needs. Students may pursue their learning in the new model as per their choice.
- Student Attendance may slow down: Many parents may be reluctant to send back their children to colleges suddenly after the end of lockdown. Some poor family parents who have lost their livelihood during the pandemic may not be able to afford the expenditure to send their children to institutions. This may lead to home education for another few months.
- National and International student mobility for higher study may be reduced: Student safety and well-being issues are of utmost importance for students and their parents for movement to international institutions for higher study. New modes of social distancing will continue for quite some time and may affect on-campus face to face teaching-learning.
Most of the parents will prefer to find workable alternatives closer to their home and may restrict less movement within the country due to the pandemic. International education has also been affected by the crisis. Many international universities have been closed and are delivering all educational activities online. Many international conferences in higher education have been cancelled or turned into a series of webinars. So, the national and international student movement may be diminished.
- Learning with social distancing may continue: All will maintain social distancing and avoid warm handshake, hug, personal greeting, and intimacy for a long time. Invisible restrictions may constraint the fun & joy of campus life. Sports, Gyms, tournaments may be in low gear for a longer period resulting in less physical activities for students.
- Educational institutions may run with different shifts per day: The need for social distancing may imply lesser students in each class. So, most of the educational institutions may work in different shifts per day which may put more pressure on the teaching and administrative staff of the institution to manage.
- May raise the gap between privileged and unprivileged students: Learners from low-income families and disadvantaged groups are more likely to suffer as they may not afford high-speed internet connection and required technical gadgets for online learning. It will widen the gap between privileged and unprivileged learners creating inequality
In the case of Anuj Garj v. Hostel Association of Republic of India, The Hon’ble Supreme Court extended the principles to make sure that the States should give that the students are equipped with fashionable technologies to contend well during this extremely dynamic and developing world to achieve success.
In a judgment of Faheema Shirin R.K. v. State of Kerala & Ors, the supreme court of Kerala recognized that – the right to possess net access is associate integral half to right to education and right to privacy in addition below the Constitution of India.
Apart from these, numerous problems are rising relating to cancellation associated postponement of examinations upon that cases are still watching for an applicable call.
In Praneeth K v. University Grants Commission, whereby, the Court revised its judgment of cancelling final year exams associated gave states the discretion to approach the University Grants Commission (UGC) for an extension of the point in time by that, final year exams ought to be completed. Because, the UGC urged that examinations are an awfully crucial step and therefore, it mandated that every one final year exams be conducted amid the COVID-19 pandemic. as a result of UGC created it clear that award a degree while not conducting the ultimate year exams, is unfair and a violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.
In the latest case of Dhananjay Kulkarni vs Union of India and Ors., the Bombay High court has commanded that sarcasm is being fabricated from the education system if the examinations are cancelled. Children’s future should be taken care of, it should not be spoiled, and not be unbroken at stake within the name of the pandemic.
The proliferation of Coronavirus has very alarming effects on all aspects of life. It has jolted the globe adversely. Education is that the building block of one’s temperament. It makes an individual eligible for love or money he or she desires to attain. Education is prime for the event of society and therefore, has nice importance in each developing country like India. But it’s not all doom and gloom. According to the author in a face-to-face environment, students get an opportunity to interact with the facilitator and other peers.
In such an environment, meetings with teachers, classroom debates and discussions promote social connectedness among teachers and students. Students are affected by the absence and presence of their peers and teachers and thus, online learning needs to accommodate the aspects of social connectedness in their program design.
The higher education sector has withstood turbulent economic times in the past, and it will withstand them again. In a digital age, universities and colleges are better placed today more than ever to provide students with easy access to continue their studies online. Adequate measures should be taken to safeguard the Education System that is actually at stake presently. If the roots are loose, the tree suffers; if the children are empty in education, the whole country can suffer. Because, those who are to be educated, the country are going to be in their hands tomorrow.
Author Saumya Dwivedi is pursuing BBA LLB(H) from Amity University