Education |

The Changes We Need In Education Post COVID-19

Education | 25 June 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused both unprecedented disruptions and massive changes to education. However, as schools return, these changes may disappear. But not all of the changes are necessarily the changes we want in education. The pandemic has created a unique opportunity for educational changes that have been proposed before COVID-19 but were never fully realized. There are  three big changes that education should make post COVID:
-curriculum that is developmental, personalized, and evolving;
-- pedagogy that is student-centered, inquiry-based, authentic, and purposeful;
- and delivery of instruction that capitalizes on the strengths of both synchronous and asynchronous learning.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education is both unprecedented and widespread in education history, impacting nearly every student in the world .The unexpected arrival of the pandemic and subsequent school closures saw massive effort to adapt and innovate by educators and education systems around the world. These changes were made very quickly as the prevailing circumstances demanded. Almost overnight, many schools and education systems began to offer education remotely Through television and radio, the Internet, or traditional postal offices, schools shifted to teach students in very different ways. Regardless of the outcomes, remote learning became the de facto method of education provision for varying periods. Educators proactively responded and showed great support for the shifts in lesson delivery. And it is clear and generally accepted that “this crisis has stimulated innovation within the education sector”.

 However, the changes or innovations that occurred in the immediate days and weeks when COVID-19 struck are not necessarily the changes education needs to make in the face of massive societal changes in a post-COVID-19 world. By and large, the changes were more about addressing the immediate and urgent need of continuing schooling, teaching online, and finding creative ways to reach students at home rather than using this opportunity to rethink education. While understandable in the short term, these changes will very likely be considered insubstantial for the long term.

The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to be a once in a generation opportunity for real change a number of reasons:
-First, the pandemic was global and affected virtually all schools. As such, it provides the opportunity for educators and children to come together to rethink the education we actually need as opposed to the inflexible and outdated model that we are likely to feverishly cling to.
- Second, educators across the world demonstrated that they could collectively change en masse. The pandemic forced closure of schools, leaving teachers, children and adults to carry out education in entirely different situations. Governments, education systems, and schools offered remote learning and teaching without much preparation, planning, and in some cases, digital experience .
-Third, when schools were closed, most of the traditional regulations and exams that govern schools were also lifted or minimally implemented. Traditional accountability examinations and many other high stakes tests were cancelled. Education was given the room to rapidly adapt to the prevailing circumstances.
It is hoped that as we transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic and into an uncertain future that we can truly re-imagine education. In light of this rare opportunity, we wish to urge scholars, policy makers, and educators to have the courage to make bold changes beyond simply changing instructional delivery. The changes that are being advocated are not new but they never managed to gain traction in the pre-COVID-19 educational landscape. The most recent experience, however, has exacerbated the need  to rethink what is necessary, desirable, and even possible for future generations.

We know that all the schools featured in this directory have been thinking very strategically along these lines and we wish them the best of luck in implementing changes for the good of students in particular, but also for parents who have borne a greater burden of supervision than ever before and of course teachers, who have had to change their way of life to accommodate the changes. Good luck to all.