Vulnerability in Education
We are experiencing unexpected crisis caused by the uncanny COVID-19 pandemic. It has created the multiple social, political, economic, educational barriers worldwide disrupting the life of everyone adding the uncertainties and plight furthermore. The schools and colleges are shut down for the indefinite time. With this closure of academic institutions what may be the psychological impact to the children and youth is a crucial issue at present. If we look at the report of UNESCO, more than 1.5 billion students and youths across the planet are affected by school and university closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is really a worrying situation. It is still unsure when they will return to their learning abode.
The school and universities do not only comply the educational mission of knowledge acquisition rather they also assure the need of socialization. As the school community is absent, the student remains in home despite virtual interaction and learning opportunities provided by the social network. There is a barrier in the physical space which would help students share their interest, thoughts, hopes, emotions, and silly gossips among the friends.
They miss the physical proximity with their teachers and friends. They feel vulnerable with no friends around. The children are eager for the schools to resume again where they can boost competencies, such as self-respect, confidence, gratitude, compassion, and responsibility. Not only the students, the teachers as well, are compassionately waiting to interact face to face to their students and staff members.
The closure of the institutions has brought the new hopes and aspirations to the entire teaching learning pattern of the world. The physical chalk to talk classroom is being transferred into virtual digitized classroom. The schools are transforming themselves to techno friendly learning activities. The schools and colleges have instilled the technology to fight this uncanny situation.
Though this paradigm shift is remarkable, it still lags behind our expectation. This sudden transition from physical classroom to e-classroom added dilemma to the stakeholders. However, there is no other alternative this time. With less access of internet, well informed and equipped teachers, as well as pupils and students, working completely in new circumstances will really be difficult. Transforming ourselves and our behavior takes time.
We know, the world will not be the same after this crisis. In the post-crisis situation, new expectations will emerge in terms of the links in the communities, in terms of teaching, in terms of strategies, mobility, health, and in terms of values themselves. Assimilating ourselves with the flow of time should make us courageous, confident, and acknowledged. We are in a great chaos but we are still hopeful for the new opportunity.
Bhoj Kumar Dhamala
Jorpati, Kathmandu, Nepal