With the COVID-19 still spreading around the world and growing calls to contain it, schools and higher learning institutions have closed their doors for in-person classes. Research shows that the pandemic has caused around 1.5 billion children to stay out of school.
With limited person-to-person contact, schools are turning online to offer virtual classes to try and fill the education gap created by the school closures. Then the virus has revealed huge inequalities concerning access to online learning. The success of online learning is mainly determined by access to resources like the internet, electricity, gadgets.
With many programs going online, the market for online learning has greatly expanded. In addition to being cheap, online education removed education equalities that define different education systems. The sudden change to online learning has generated severe economic implications, with the question being marching costs against the quality of education offered.
Some families are hiring private teachers to offer in-person instructions to supplement what children are learning online. Many of these businesses offering online services will become the new normal in the education industry. The emergency of subsidiary services emanated from the fact that many remote learning services quickly put together in the wake of the pandemic are not adequate and are somehow hard to manage.
Online learning also leaves out an important element of learning – human interaction as children misses out on the company of their teachers and friends. This is likely to affect children’s social skills and development.
Higher learning in the wake of the pandemic
The pandemic has also seen post-secondary learning institutions close doors and offer to learn virtually. Many universities and colleges have developed learning software and tools to deliver learning content and track students’ progress. Although virtual learning in universities may be possible for arts courses, it is a big nightmare for science-based courses whose practical sessions require in-person interactions. To save the education sector, major tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft need to develop flexible technologies that are usable under different conditions. Although it may involve shifting from face-to-face to online learning, the results are worth it.