Formal education: Converting challenge into opportunity
Amid the global challenge, Coronavirus (Covid 19) is impacting all our lives through different dimensions of life. The visible effect is on human health. Similarly, it also hit on huge spectrum of life like social, economy as well as education sector. Covid 19 poses significant challenge for education system all over the world. An entire generation of children has now seen its education interrupted as school, colleges and universities are close to prevent the spread of covid for being safe and safety measures. According to UNICEF, Nationalwide School clouser have disrupted the education of more than 1.57 billion students, represent 91 percent worldwide.
From mid March 2020, in a view of the risk transmittion of the covid 19 infection in all education institutes, Government of Nepal has decided to closure of all education institutes in Nepal. There is uncertainity of reopening and fully functioning of education institution. Despite this pendamic situation few institutions carry out online classes. Online classes are important for higher pedagogy in the time of crisis where million students are fails to have access to education however its challenge to deliver quality of teaching and lerning through online mode.
While doing narrative study about ‘Challenges and way out of online study’, 23 years old male student of Bachelor level in information and technology from Sunsari district said that- Being as a technology student, he had habited to research on the internet about various subject matter and familier with an e-learning clasess. However, in this pandemic situation, he had not internet connection at his home and had to go to neighbour house for classes. He had been facing a technical error, sometimes live broadcast has been buffering, he could not take the regular online class because of un-management of time, and the environment is not good for coming out of the house. Similarly, 25 years old female student of Master in Arts (Major English) who has been returned to village after covid lockdown in Kathmandu has slightly different view. She shared that she felt safe after returning to her home place, even though she has been facing problem with resource materials to finish her given assignments. She further added that most of the students were unaware and sometimes encounters difficulties regarding online search engine for educational materials.
These are representation how our online education running now and facing impractical learning experiences. Majority of student shared similar views that they have faced internet disturbance as a major challenge followed by lack of competency with the technical use. Here the big challange is how to deliver quality education despite just engaging students.
Few area can be highlight to address this problem into possibilities that how education institute can somehow to have quality teaching and learning
Role of government
One of my previous University friend shared that her study has stopped since lockdown and added that Government only focused on covid mitigation strategy, this way the current government has not supported enough to carry out any education strategy. Education system has been shadowed in the name of crisis. So to fullfill the gap, Government (Ministry of education, Science and Technology Nepal) should design and develop sustainable digital infrasturcture to overcome such problem. Not only current pandamic but also for upcoming similar adversity. They can invest and develop certain educational application as well as virtual resource center (data base) to give sufficient material on education systen. However it should also be user friendly. Similarly they should also provide teacher training package or capacity building training to teachers to enhance their online teaching skills. Likewise they can also coordinate with internet service provider to design student friendly internet facilities or package as internet facilities may not be equally access to all students outside
Role of university
University are trying their best to deliver quality education to their student, as I am also unniversity student I am also facing dificulties to conduct quality assignments, research work due to lack of resourse material. To fulfill this gap, University also can enhance their capacity to run online mode of classes. Similarly, they can invest to build e-library to give access on learning materials to student to overcome difficulties while preparing assignments. Accessing to various journals artical, publications and e- books can help students learn better. Likewise they can record online classes and document it for further use by other student who misses the session due to internet interruption. They can be focus on quality of teaching and learning process rather than quantity.
Role of students
On the other hand if you see students, they are too diverted from their learning activities. Most of they are spending their time on social networking sites. As student can also play significant role for quality of learning. They can rigorously follow the guideline of their university/intitution to learn effectively as it is difficult to monitor each student by their teachers. Another is time management. To improve this, it is good to have a set schedule that can help with managing and separating subjects/classes, deciding when to complete or work on asignments and meeting deadlines. So, students can also set a routine for their study and assignment. Lastly, they can be sincere towards their set routine. They can focus and spend more time on their study.
Role of parents
One my friend shared that her 10 years old son who was in grade 5, loosing his interest in studying. Due to school shutdown he has not studying at all. He is spending his time in palying and using mobile phones. She was worried that her son will may face difficulties in his study after sometimes. To overcome her problem she set a rule to study at least 2-3 hrs per day. Now her son is doing well to solve maths, science problem easly. Here the point is that parent’s role is very much crucial for student learning till higher secondary. Students need more attention and care in their teenage phase of life. Parents are key role to provide favourable learning environment as well as they can observe their learning activitie. And if require, they can monitor and support their childrens education.
Education is crucial aspect of cognition development as it is a social construct of knowledge. It creates consciousness on individual learning. Even though, it is a challenging to deliver any kind of education in the pandemic time. The only choice is to continue of online education as it is uncertain to reopen education institues. However collective effort is essential to support online education with quality education.
The writer is currently pursuing MPhil at Department of Development Education in Kathmandu University-School of Education.
Published on 11 June 2020