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Whitepaper: Education and Covid-19

– Sandhya P Nagar, Founder, JAGRATI 

With everything around us changing rapidly, it is inevitable that each of us also go through changes. One such most affected field is the education sector. School closures impact not only students, teachers, and families and can lead to far-reaching economic and social consequences. With schools and universities being closed all over the world, students are in utter chaos and skeptical about their future. This study was conducted to see how the students are coping with the situation and to help further changes and reforms in the same field. This study is conducted across Karnataka for the students of 10th (6540), 12th (7450) and graduates (9806). The same parameters are used across the population, to see how each one of them are reacting and coping to the same. 

Key features:

The outbreak of the corona virus pandemic has paved way in bringing lot of changes with regard to education system, leading to new reforms. This has affected everyone associated with schools and colleges in a haphazard way creating confusions day by day. The purpose of the research was to further understand students’ perspective on how it affects their career choices and other factors that would hinder the process of building their future.

Some of the key highlights of the study were:

  • Covid-19’s impact on, change with regard to course change during the semesters and with career choices as there is an ongoing downturn with employment rate.
  • Technology (online) taking over the traditional methods (offline), leading to changes in the educational system.
  • Covid-19 has closed doors for abroad studies causing to increase in the cut offs, charges and up sprung of application among various schools and colleges.
  • Syllabus and time will take a toll on students hampering the learning and future upshots.
  • Covid-19 also becoming a hindrance for commuting and limiting people in travelling together.

 Segment 1

Change in course (choice)
Level Yes No
10th 63 37
12th 55 45
Degree 32 68

Out of the total students participated we can see that students of class 10th and 12th have changed their plans about the course due to pandemic. As their choices are plenty and they can still make amendments, but when it comes to the students who are graduating, they are still aiming at their goals without much change. It can also be so, because some of the students studying in 10th and 12th were all set for their international studies.

Change in career (choice)
Level Yes No
10th 71 29
12th 60 40
Degree 52 48

The trend with career choice and choices in course, it almost remains the same when it comes to the student of 10th and 12th. Nevertheless the graduates are trying to make changes in their career choices. With the course that they have already chosen, they are trying to explore new options within the boundaries.

Segment 2

Time crunch

Do you think the time crunch for this academic year will have an adverse effect on your performance?

Level Yes No
10th 60 40
12th 58 42
Degree 63 37

Out of the total number of students who participated in the survey 10th and degree students showed more of inclination towards how time crunch would affect. It would affect the students in terms of not getting enough time to concentrate on different domains. There would be hindrance in learning, as 10th, 12th and degree is crucial years for their next journey. Schools/colleges would hurry with everything without precision leading to insufficient knowledge and exposure. Also time crunch would effect in cutting down on programs like enhancing their skills for competitive exams, interview and placements for students would take a toll.

Syllabus crunch

Do you think the concept of syllabus crunch for the upcoming academic year will affect you as an individual?

Level Yes No
10th 56 44
12th 75 25
Degree 64 36

When syllabus is formed, we have already limited on extra learning. With this pandemic situation prevailing, students face difficulty in covering the existing information. The purpose of gaining knowledge is limited. There will also be reduction in experimental and experiential learning leading to only theoretical understanding of concepts. It affects more of 12th and degree students as they have vast syllabus, which require more time, which is also inadequate in this ongoing situation.

Online coaching

How comfortable are you with the current trend of online coaching/classes.

Level Very comfortable Comfortable Not at all
10th 23 21 46
12th 30 27 43
Degree 48 23 29

With the new trend of online coaching and classes, some of the students are finding it very difficult in terms of concentration, interaction with the teachers, and also hampering their consistency. It is a challenge for the teachers also to manage the students, especially when it comes to 10th and 12th students. As we can see from the data obtained that the degree students are the most comfortable ones, because they are able to assist themselves in better ways compared to the other sectors.  As quoted by a professor from University of Virginia, “online coaching is more of a monologue than a dialogue,” which probably has an adverse effect on the school going children.

Study abroad

Are you still on board with your abroad plans for studies and job placements?

Level Yes No
10th 53 47
12th 46 54
Degree 39 61

The ongoing trend pre Covid-19 of abroad studies has suddenly taken an interesting turn. Students of all categories are now revisiting their decision of going abroad because of sheer safety and security. As we can see in the above details that there is a huge drift in the decisions especially the graduates because the problems they will be facing with this change is comparatively big and more effective. The significantly lower return of investment in an already expensive international higher education domain coupled with further reduced chances of employability in the post COVID-19 is a very strong reason for this.

Transportation

Do you think this pandemic will have an adverse effect on the travelling aspects, be it school or college?

Level Yes No
10th 47 53
12th 64 36
Degree 38 62

With the new rules and regulations put forth by the government, transportation becomes one of the major problems. It affects more for the middle class students as they don’t own there transportation and depend on public transport. With the frequency of public transport it becomes difficult for them to reach on time, making them miss on lot of things. Without proper commute it’s a risk to rely on public transport as many would have used the same. It hinders the learning and education. It is more a complication to 10th and 12th as larger percentage doesn’t own a vehicle and depend on the public transportation. 

Extra-curricular

Do you think not being able to attend college or school will also have its effect on extra-curricular activities?

Level Yes No
10th 76 24
12th 69 31
Degree 84 16

Like always believed and preached, sports or any other curricular is always given less importance. This pandemic has paved way in crunching it more. Its effect in scholarships, sports quota and other forums because schools and colleges would limit all these, concentrating on studies. It’s a big loss to aspiring representatives for this year. Crunching extra curriculum would affect student’s health, as they won’t get to be active throughout. Also students won’t get refreshed, affecting their mental health. 10th and 12th standard students have got affect more from the pandemic with regard to extra curriculum. 

Conclusion:

Due to the crisis the upcoming days are going to be more than chaotic and students will need all the support they can get. With top most universities closing their doors for international students, the crisis is soon going to get real. No doubt the mode of education is going to change but the quality of education is going to suffer at least until the students get a hang of it. The above report would depict most of the changes that a typical third world country would go through. A country with 60% of its population being in the student sector, it can both be leverage or a hindrance.

Students at this point of time are in most need of a help that is more than just a talk or a theoretical approach. It becomes their right to approach the professional career mentors in order to know, how their education can be used in the best possible way that is both beneficial for the country and individuals they themselves are. Also parents, teachers and school as a whole should be aware of the importance of guiding the students with the best possible solutions.

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