If there is a year when schools and education system face the biggest challenge, it would be this year 2020. According to United Nations,
The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents. Closures of schools and other learning spaces have impacted 94 per cent of the world’s student population, up to 99 per cent in low and lower-middle income countries. The crisis is exacerbating pre-existing education disparities by reducing the opportunities for many of the most vulnerable children, youth, and adults – those living in poor or rural areas, girls, refugees, persons with disabilities and forcibly displaced persons – to continue their learning. Learning losses also threaten to extend beyond this generation and erase decades of progress, not least in support of girls and young women’s educational access and retention. Some 23.8 million additional children and youth (from pre-primary to tertiary) may drop out or not have access to school next year due to the pandemic’s economic impact alone.
The shock of the COVID-19 crisis on education has been unprecedented. It has set the clock back on the attainment of international education goals, and disproportionately affected the poorer and most vulnerable. And yet, the education community has proved resilient, laying a groundwork for the rebound.
There remains a risk of a downward spiral, in a negative feedback loop of learning loss and exclusion. Yet every negative spiral of aggravating socio-economic circumstances suggests its reverse image of a positive spiral, one which would lead to the future of education we want: one of inclusive change in education delivery, of unleashing the potential of individuals, and of collective fulfilment, in all areas of life, through education investment.
There is unlimited drive, and untapped resources, we can count on for the restoration, not only of education’s essential services, but of its fundamental aspirations. It is the responsibility of governments and the international community to stay true to principles and conduct reforms, so that, not only will the children and youth regain their promised future, but all education stakeholders find their role in making it happen.
In time like this, we have seen massive disruption to educational institutions as well as impacts on student’s learning curves. This could be tremendous opportunity for schools to reimage and refocus their vision for education and also allow schools to implement new academic system and allow students to carry it with them wherever they are at.