For the past two years, the COVID-19 epidemic, which is plainly a health emergency, has put everything in our life to the test; practically all sectors, including both major and small businesses, people’s jobs, communication routes, etc., were impacted. The closing of schools, colleges, and universities in the majority of the world’s nations and the shift to teaching (or attempting to teach) through online learning platforms, in my opinion, have had the greatest impact on students. Many families have experienced a serious impact as a result of parents trying to homeschool while also working from home. This has disrupted not only the productivity of the parents’ employment but also the social and academic lives of the kids.
The delivery of the curriculum has migrated online, and tests have followed suit. This year’s pupils were tested, and until schools sought to make the procedure as seamless as possible, it was a question of trial and error. Although this is a short-term problem, pupils who are afflicted may experience long-term effects that will eventually cause a learning gap. This will mostly be evident in young learners since parents find it challenging to get children to concentrate on finishing online learning material. Going to school improves a child’s social skills as well as their capacity to learn, so missing five months of school will permanently harm those pupils’ abilities.
Even though the majority of parents worked from home, most families belonged to the working class, with both parents holding down a 9–5 job. Because some parents were disappointed that their children were not allowed to play at home, those working-class parents had to take on a second job—teaching—to ensure that their children didn’t miss out on too much education. While many parents were able to accomplish both chores at once, others were finding it incredibly challenging. Obviously, there were some really motivating moments, other extremely difficult or should we say angry moments, some extremely humorous times, and other sorrowful moments. Parents were overjoyed. However, it appears that classmates will have.
Family influences on education
Therefore, it appears extremely improbable that worldwide homeschooling will generally replace the knowledge lost from school. However, it will undoubtedly result in some inspirational moments, some angry times, some enjoyable moments, and some frustrating moments. The main issue is that families’ abilities to support their children’s education will certainly differ significantly from one another. The amount of time available for teaching, the non-cognitive skills of the parents, resources (not everyone will have the kit to access the best online material, for example), and the level of knowledge are among the key differences (Oreopoulos et al. 2006). It can be challenging to help your child learn something that you may not even fully comprehend yourself. Therefore, for the impacted cohorts, this incident will result in a rise in the inequality of human capital growth.
In addition to interfering with instruction for students everywhere, the closure of schools, colleges, and institutions also falls during a crucial assessment period, which has resulted in numerous tests being delayed or canceled. Perhaps because they are viewed as being less significant, internal assessments have frequently been canceled. However, their goal is to inform instructors and parents about the child’s development. Losing this knowledge hinders the identification of a child’s great potential as well as their learning challenges and may have negative long-term effects. In their 2019 study, Andersen and Nielsen examine the effects of a significant IT failure in Denmark’s testing system. As a result, some kids were unable to take the exam. According to the authors, taking the test led to a 9% standard deviation improvement in reading scores two years later. Similar results were observed in mathematics. The impact of these factors is greatest on kids from underprivileged backgrounds.
Importantly, internal assessments were not the only ones impacted by the institution lockdown. For instance, all GCSE and A level exams for the full cohort have been canceled in the UK for the two most important public qualifications.
Depending on how long the lockdown lasts, similar measures will probably be seen everywhere. ‘Predicted grades’ are one potential replacement for the canceled assessments, but Murphy and Wyness (2020) demonstrate that these are frequently inaccurate and that, among high-achieving students, those from disadvantaged backgrounds receive lower predicted grades than those from more privileged backgrounds. A different solution is to substitute instructor evaluations for blind tests. Evidence from a variety of situations demonstrates systematic differences between unblinded and blind assessments, with the bias’s direction largely depending on whether the child is a member of a group that typically performs well (Burgess and Greaves 2013, Rangvid 2015). An unblind appraisal of a boy’s performance in a subject, for instance, is likely to be negatively skewed if girls often perform better in it. The transition to unblinded subjective evaluations may have long-term effects on opportunity equality because such tests are utilized as a crucial requirement to join higher education.
Additionally, it’s likely that the pauses will help certain students’ careers. For instance, it has been determined that all Norwegian 10th graders would receive a high school diploma. And Maurin and McNally (2008) demonstrate that the 1968 French student riots’ abandonment of the customary examination processes had favorable long-term labor market repercussions for the cohort that was affected.
Online assessment tools are increasingly being used by universities and colleges to replace traditional exams in higher education. Both teachers and students are unfamiliar with this topic, therefore assessments will probably have bigger measurement mistakes than usual. According to research, companies sort applicants based on educational credentials including degree classifications and grade point averages (Piopiunik et al. 2020). Therefore, the potential reduction in the matching efficiency for recent graduates on the labour market, who may face slower wages growth and greater job separation rates, is due to the increase in the noise of the applicants’ signals. This is expensive for the individual as well as for society at large (Fredriksson et al. 2018).
The COVID-19 pandemic could have a significant negative impact on the careers of this year’s university graduates. They are set to graduate at the start of a significant global recession, they have encountered significant teaching disruptions over the last portion of their studies, and they are currently suffering significant pauses in their exams. Evidence points to workers accepting lower-paying positions as a result of unfavorable market conditions when they enter the workforce, which may have a long-term impact on some people’s careers. According to Oreopoulos et al. (2012), graduates from programs with high predicted earnings can make up for their low starting points through both intra- and inter-firm earnings gains, but graduates from other programs have been found to suffer permanent earnings losses as a result of graduating during a recession.
The worldwide closure of educational institutions will have a significant (and probably uneven) negative impact on students’ learning, interfere with internal evaluations, and cancel or substitute public certification exams with subpar alternatives. What steps can be taken to lessen these harmful effects? Once classes resume, schools will need resources to make up for the lost time in the classroom. It is unclear how these resources will be applied and how best to reach the kids who were particularly hard struck. Schools should also think about delaying internal evaluations rather than skipping them in light of the evidence demonstrating the value of assessments for learning. To prevent lengthier jobless spells for recent graduates, policy should facilitate their entry into the labor market.
Let’s go over each point in detail:
The primary issue is that traditional education is typically delivered face-to-face. As a result, both parents and students had a very difficult time because most schools were not set up to deliver the curriculum online, and even if they were, the staff either didn’t know how to use it or thought of it as a PowerPoint presentation. As a result, the students missed out on the opportunity to use the online learning platforms.
That’s all there is to say about schools; as for universities, we all had a really terrible time. Despite this, some international universities have developed effective systems because their governments did not at first resist online education. Online was a taboo in our countries, though, and no one was able to convince the authorities of its significance.
In order to fulfill a school requirement, the IB/A levels system of studies requires some form of activity programme (such as the Duke of Edinburgh and the Creativity, Activity, and Service for IB system). Most students in these two systems were unable to finish their projects. I believed that instead of skipping this part of the IB or A level program, these systems could have asked the students to contribute with research that would be published by the school or perform some community duty (without endangering themselves, such as planting trees, etc.). Of course, other school curricula rely solely on rhetorical learning approaches and do not need extended essays or volunteer work, which is against the goal of education.
All of us, including educators, schools, parents, students, and other stakeholders in the largest industry in the world, must think critically and have backup plans A, B, and Z; we cannot leave this to chance. There will undoubtedly be a gap in the educational attainment of students, particularly among the younger students who succeed.
Okay, let me tell you something about technology. You have probably noticed the exponential growth in the use of technology in everything from TV and movies to gaming, educational programs, food delivery, and many other activities. My teaching experience in Corona has taught me that the existing systems are only effective if everyone has a strong internet connection at home. Zoom, for example, doesn’t have a class management system and the screen can freeze. The speech quality is also subpar. The idea of teaching the government school students is to supplement their education, and we are aware that they are unable to buy high-end internet. We tried to use a gaming application to teach English to students from government schools, but in order to stream, we need very high internet in our homes. I believe that in order to effectively use technology in the classroom, kids’ homes should have the best internet connectivity. Additionally, this should be supported.
Parent-dependent programs are the second issue. We’re talking about people who were born in the 1980s and went to schools and universities, so I know that most parents can teach their kids. However, they are all quite busy, and most of the work, so relying on their parents is not an option we can accept. Additionally, relying on the teacher as though they were working nonstop is not an option. What we need is a method that the child can use independently and practice on their own. The fact is, if the children are not independent learners, we will never be able to tackle the problem. This is something I personally realized during this pandemic. Once more, I’m talking about the 99 percent here rather than the 1 percent who are plainly the best. We have numerous obstacles, but if we can resolve these urgent problems, we can withstand anything—even an alien invasion.