Last year, things turned upside down in a way the human race had never imagined. Although the devastating COVID 19 outbreak has shaken the world to its very core, the education system world over has been affected the most, especially in the biggest academic hub – the US.
Thousands of overseas students had to be sent back home, while several others were stuck minus the hostel accommodation due to cross-border limitations imposed by the US government. Things have been dismal for the American students as well, with a majority finding it challenging to cope with the sudden shift from traditional classroom education to e-learning.
But that’s not the end of it. There are other aspects of the US education system that the pandemic is taking a toll on. What are they? Let us delve a bit deeper into the lesser-known facets.
4 Ways the COVID 19 Crisis is Wreaking Havoc on the US Education System
- Communication amid the pandemic
Communication is a pillar of the education system. Unless there is proper communication between learners and educators, the very essence of education is at risk. As educational institutions operate remotely, educators have to fight several hurdles.
With a continuous disruption in online communication, it has become difficult for teachers to provide real-time feedback. There have been cases where students had to wait for hours for the professors to assess academic papers via video conferencing. This massive delay and a colossal waste of time have been detrimental to students’ productivity.
So, how do we battle these looming challenges due to unclear virtual communication? Here’s how!
- Every educational institution in the US must ensure that students have the required devices and gadgets and a strong internet connection.
- Both educators and learners must be trained to optimize the full potential of digital tools and apps.
- Educators must be available on multiple channels to establish seamless communication.
- If students need essay help, they should be able to communicate without any disruptions during working hours.
- The impact on the academic infrastructure
With schools and colleges in the US being closed for an indefinite period, the in-house infrastructure has been suffering due to lack of maintenance.
Several private academic institutions in the US are suffering due to a lack of funds, leading to schools/colleges not being able to pay the staff fully. As an inevitable consequence, several educators have resigned from their jobs since the last year, while many consider switching to other professional sectors.
To solve this predicament, we must understand and acknowledge the criticality of the situation and take proper remedial measures.
- At this hour of crisis, every educator and back-office staff member must remember about the nobler cause.
- They should come together as a team to work selflessly to educate the young generation.
- The onus lies on students and parents too to ensure that educators are getting the due respect and remuneration for devoting their time for the greater good.
- As far as other infrastructural factors are concerned, educational institutes must create a plan that manages rotational shifts among staff members for taking care of the existing properties.
- The unavoidable plagues of health issues
While the first two factors were something that we can control to an extent, such isn’t the case when it comes to fighting the odds of health issues. This pandemic has got better of everyone’s health – both corporal as well as mental health.
We all know how the COVID 19 virus has affected thousands of children and adults. With health becoming a questionable matter, the looming risk instilled in people a sense of fear and anxiety. Moreover, the confinement within our homes and the lack of social lives have affected the mental well-being of educators as well as learners.
But, as they say – where there is a will, there is a way. Here is what we can do to battle such obstacles:
- Parents should try and involve children in productive activities to keep their brains and bodies active.
- At the same time, all must take care of health issues and keep a check on the symptoms of COVID 19 diligently.
- Everyone should consume protein supplements, exercise regularly, and drink sufficient water to stay healthy.
- Online exams are a dilemma
As the world moves listlessly towards this forced digitalization, students find it challenging to get accustomed to taking online exams. And it is often not about their choice to dislike online exams. The situations are compelling too.
Internet connectivity is still a significant problem in several remote areas in the US. Moreover, the security parameters for online exams are still vulnerable to malware attacks, unethical hackings, intentional plagiarism, etc. Again, communicating with candidates remotely has become a hurdle that several educational institutions have not been able to eliminate.
But the following remedies can curb the persisting loopholes to an extent:
- The examination administrations should deploy strict parameters such as negative marketing, total online exam duration, and altered grading schemes.
- Schools and colleges must take stricter steps so that students cannot manipulate exam schedules or login credentials.
- Institutes must observe a proper process for authentication and authorization so that virtual invigilators can keep a closer eye on candidates appearing for online exams.
- The IT infrastructure should be able to monitor the entire process to avoid potential cases of breached security infrastructure during an ongoing test.
Although the impact of COVID 19 on the education system of the US has been devastating, there is still to buck up and take control of the situation. If we implement the remedial strategies and embrace the best practices starting today, we will surely lead the young generation into a better tomorrow.
Remember one thing: This too shall pass.
So, keep up the hope and do your bit in healing the world from this malady. Be a responsible American and a global citizen to see a better dawn. Here’s to rainbows, sunshine, and all things nice.