Students on Quarantine: the Influence of COVID-19
If your school is closed, what would you do? Approximately a billion students must study at home because of educational environments closure.
Most children like an opportunity to stay at home and do not study for a while. But when quarantine has no exact date limits, no one can have fun.
This is a general problem that causes new and new challenges every day. Nowadays, China, Italy, Spain, America, South Korea, and other countries have stopped the traditional education. Great Britain has a similar experience when in 2013, the government decided to close all schools due to the flu spread. As a result, Britain’s Health Protection Agency admitted that such actions help to slow down the spread of a virus.
At the same time, scientists understand that children are not the main at-risk population group and route of spreading the COVID-19. The governments understand that they haven’t the best solution in such situations and must choose the bad from between the bad and the worse. This idea confirms the New York experience. On the 12th of March, its major claimed he wouldn’t close 1,800 schools, but in several days he did it for four weeks at least.
Americans held a study in 2009 to understand how the closure of all schools and important organizations will influence GDP. And closing these institutions for a month will cause changes for 0.1-0.3%. Maybe other countries have better conditions for their citizens. For instance, in China, the national government supports companies to help their employees work from home. This is a good example of a country going through a hard-economic situation. But Japan and Italy aren’t ready to do the same. Not every company in Japan allows parents to work from home to care for their children. There are lots of officially unemployed people in Italy, so they can’t get financial support from the government. Many people risk losing their jobs.
Let’s discuss the role of schools for kids from low-income families. In such a situation, educational establishments play an additional role and provide children with regular meals. Also, there are many kids who sleep in special shelters. So, school closure will cause great problems for them. According to the example of Great Britain, the school may not work to the full, but provide kids with food at least.
These costs are important for the economic situation, that’s why the government must understand what is going on. But the COVID-19 pandemic is the exceptional case we haven’t faced before. It may cause a special working schedule for important establishments. For example, according to the study in 2009, approximately 6-19% of health-care employers must stay home to help their kids with education. For those people who can’t leave their important jobs, special educational programs must work. This is an example of Great Britain.
No matter is your work essential for a country, or you have an opportunity to take care of your kids, every parent worry about the future. They understand that prolonged educational establishments closure will harm their children. Parents with small kids worry about their personality’s development; parents of teenagers worry about the college entrance examination. For example, Chinese students usually pass such an exam in June. But coronavirus pandemic may cause its delay for several months.
The same situation will happen to British students. Approximately 245,000 potential university students expected to pass an entrance examination in May and June. Such tests would determine they could get a place in desirable university or not. But the British government has already canceled these exams due to unexpected situations with the worldwide pandemic. The prime minister announced that everyone would keep their own chance for education, but there is still no exact action of how it would happen. In such a situation, parents worry about their kids who may miss precious time to prepare for exams.
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Situation in the USA
The American educational system is more flexible in the college entrance examination. The point is the future of students mostly depends on their academic progress during the year. It means they don’t need to pass an important exam that will define their perspectives in a short period of time. Also, American students can pass college admission exams for the whole year. Usually, administrations set them in spring, but any changes are okay. All students who had planned to enter the university in 2021 should have pass exams in March and May. If these exams are canceled, then college administrations will reschedule plans or even allow individuals to prepare them in the distance.
Experts say that universities should be more flexible. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the entrance procedures will be totally changed. Being short in time, students may feel anxious and even feel depressed; that’s why admission committees need to give individuals more time and support.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic may highlight the disadvantages of high-stakes exams and force taking decisions, which were expected for a long time. For example, SATs may become optional exams. Several universities have also made this exam optional, and several colleges are expected to make the same decision in the nearest future. Experts expect that the current situation in the educational system will demonstrate that such exams are not objective and fair enough. Maybe we will be the witnesses of accepting new and objective methods to estimate students’ skills.
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What to expect
We shouldn’t expect the pandemic to change the educational system at all. But it may brightly demonstrate weak and strong sides of distance education. Thanks to worldwide digitalization, the role of online resources is constantly increasing. Students get an opportunity to study no matter their health problems and unexpected outbreaks. Everyone talks about the great advantages of online learning, but only 40% of British state schools can make video lessons. Independent schools are more flexible and can guarantee 69% of education in a remote way. American experts also admit that their schools are not ready to provide comprehensive distance education.
The example of Italy is quite common. After school closure, many teachers discussed the advantages of virtual classes. Some of them were ready to hold their lessons online, but some of them weren’t. When journalists asked one Italian teacher who uploads videos in literature, she said she never expected herself to become a YouTuber at her age of 56 years.
Okay, teachers may create and publish their lessons on the Web. But it doesn’t mean that all students will have an opportunity to watch such content. Let’s see the study of American kids’ access to the Internet. In the 21st century, almost 7 million children cannot use the Internet. Also, parents may worry about their kids’ health, spending much time in front of the PC screen. Sometimes they prefer to print all educational materials even if it takes a lot of time and resources. Unfortunately, not every family can use such an approach and provide children with printed materials at their own expense. They will face a dilemma; no one can still solve it.
Let’s discuss the perfect situation with distance education. Even if students have stable access to the Internet and educators hold lessons, this is not the best scenario. The point is nothing can totally take the place of traditional lessons in classes with classmates and teachers. The expert from Brown University insists that usually, students get less knowledge and skills during online education. If your kid has a strong educational background, then he or she will be quite successful with distance education. But having less knowledge and skills, your child will have fewer opportunities for complete learning. As a result, online studying is great when students cannot visit schools but not for a long time. The balance in formats will help individuals to avoid suffering from bad education.
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The pandemic of COVID-19 has already changed the normal lifestyle of millions of people as more individuals get infected as more issues we face. The educational system is one of those spheres of life that has a lot of issues to deal with. We understand that students have their right to continue education without interruption. To be honest, distance education has lots of strengths and advantages. Modern technologies allow us to communicate and studying without interruption. New options in distance learning can be very helpful for students with special needs and in critical life conditions. But the success of online education is not broad-reaching. Many families have issues with time, technical equipment, and so on. So, at the moment, we have a chance to improve current educational systems to be better prepared for future challenges.