Pandemic Covid 19 vs Education

What Is Covid 19 Pandemic or Coronavirus?

          Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause animals or people to become diseased. Many coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections in humans ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recent coronavirus detected causes of COVID-19 coronavirus disease.

          The infectious disease COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus most recently identified. Before the outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the current virus and infection were unknown.

Impact on Education:

          Going to school is the best public policy tool available to raise skills. While school time can be fun and can raise social skills and social awareness, from an economic point of view the primary point of being in school is that it increases a child’s ability. Even a relatively short time in school does this; even a relatively short period of missed school will have consequences for skill growth. But can we estimate how much the COVID-19 interruption will affect learning? Not very precisely, as we are in a new world; but we can use other studies to get an order of magnitude.

          Two pieces of evidence are useful. Consider a situation in which young men in Sweden have a differing number of days to prepare for important tests. These differences are conditionally random allowing the authors to estimate a causal effect of schooling on skills. The authors show that even just ten days of extra schooling significantly raise scores on tests of the use of knowledge by 1% of a standard deviation. As an extremely rough measure of the impact of the current school closures, if we were to simply extrapolate those numbers, twelve weeks less schooling (i.e. 60 school days) implies a loss of 6% of a standard deviation, which is non-trivial. They do not find a significant impact on problem-solving skills.

          UNESCO's figures refer to learners enrolled at pre-primary, primary, lower secondary, and upper-secondary levels of education as well as at the tertiary level. 1,379,344,914 students or 80 percent of the world's learners are now being kept out of educational institutions by country-wide closures.

          A different way into this question comes from Lavy (2015), who estimates the impact on learning of differences in instructional time across countries. Perhaps surprisingly, there are very substantial differences between countries in hours of teaching. For example, Lavy shows that total weekly hours of instruction in mathematics, language, and science is 55% higher in Denmark than in Austria. These differences matter, causing significant differences in test score outcomes: one more hour per week over the school year in the main subjects increases test scores by around 6% of a standard deviation. In our case, the loss of perhaps 3-4 hours per week teaching in maths for 12 weeks may be similar in magnitude to the loss of an hour per week for 30 weeks. So, rather bizarrely and surely coincidentally, we end up with an estimated loss of around 6% of a standard deviation again. Leaving the close similarity aside, these studies possibly suggest a likely effect no greater than 10% of a standard deviation but definitely above zero. 

School / Colleges Started Switching To Online Classes/Digital Classroom:

          Despite the rising alarm about COVID-19 dissemination and demands for the reduction of the virus, a growing number of post-secondary institutions have shut down individual classes. In post-secondary networks all over the world, the virus has discovered vulnerabilities. It is now evident that society needs versatile and robust systems of education in the face of an uncertain future.

People in the education technology sector, which creates everything from online learning apps to resources to track students' success, believe they're equipped for the problems they face.

Yet other educators have concerns due to what others may perceive due problems resulting from the usage of technology in schooling and preparation – everything from utilizing technology for tracking students from using it to bundling costly electronic textbooks. In fact, legal issues are alarming.

A survey showing the abrupt lock-down by the government gives many parents little time to plan for online classes and they still fail to link their child to such virtual classes has shown that many schools in the country have moved into online lessons owing to the lock-down, and one in five students is unable to link because they do not have a laptop, tablet or screen,

          The Localcircles CEO Sachin Taparia claimed that "Parents mentioned being searching for a laptop for their child last weekend. Also, well-placed managers in multinationals indicated that their children wanted laptops

Pay or not pay? Families were concerned about school fee relief reporting:

          To reimburse, exclude or freeze school children's parents are concerned with announcements by various state governments that include relief for school payments during the coronavirus lockout. The governments of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh declared that schools would not place pressure on parents to pay lock-out fees. However, it is not clear to parents that no payments would be assessed or compensated later during the time. Many parents mistakenly presumed that there are no penalties during the time span assigned to different school authorities, so they have made several requests about exemptions.

          "Little clarification remains. Schools tend to demand different costs such as food and travel expenses. Nobody understands what was and stays suspended. "It is the only relaxation in time when we enter school and not the number," says Sandeep Makhija, a resident in Gurgaon, to PTI.

          The country is under lockdown due to the COVID-19 situation. However, schools and colleges were closed a week before the lockdown was announced.

Suggestions:

  • Schools shall practice daily handwashing with freshwater, bleach, rubber/ice sanitizer or chlorine and, at least, everyday disinfection and clean-up of school surfaces. 
  • Sick children, teachers, and workers will therefore not be permitted to come to school
  • Schools will have water, sanitation and waste disposal services and follow environmental cleaning and decontamination procedures 
  • Schools should promote social distancing (a term applied to certain actions that are taken to slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease, including limiting large groups of people coming together)
  • Student & Children: Children and young people should understand basic, age-appropriate information about coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including its symptoms, complications, how it is transmitted and how to prevent transmission. •Stay informed about COVID-19 through reputable sources such as UNICEF, WHO, and national health ministry advisories. Be aware of fake information/myths that may circulate by word-of-mouth or online. Following basic principles can help keep students, teachers, and staff safe at school and help stop the spread of this disease. Recommendations for healthy schools are: 

CHECKLIST:

CHECKLIST FOR STUDENTS AND CHILDREN 

  1. In a situation like this, it is normal to feel sad, worried, confused, scared or angry. Know that you are not alone and talk to someone you trust, like your parent or teacher so that you can help keep yourself and your school safe and healthy. Ask questions, educate yourself and get information from reliable sources 
  2. Protect yourself and others o Wash your hands frequently, always with soap and water for at least 20 seconds o Remember to not touch your face o Do not share cups, eating utensils, food or drinks with others 
  3. Be a leader in keeping yourself, your school, family and community healthy. Share what you learn about preventing disease with your family and friends, especially with younger children o Model good practices such as sneezing or coughing into your elbow and washing your hands, especially for younger family members 
  4.  Don’t stigmatize your peers or tease anyone about being sick; remember that the virus doesn’t follow geographical boundaries, ethnicities, age or ability or gender. 
  5. Tell your parents, another family member, or a caregiver if you feel sick, and ask to stay home.

CHECKLIST FOR PARENTS/CAREGIVERS & COMMUNITY MEMBERS 

  1. Monitor your child’s health and keep them home from school if they are ill.
  2. Teach and model good hygiene practices for your children. Wash your hands with soap and safe water frequently. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty. Ensure that safe drinking water is available and toilets or latrines are clean and available at home. Ensure waste is safely collected, stored and disposed of. Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, nose 
  3.  Encourage your children to ask questions and express their feelings with you and their teachers. Remember that your child may have different reactions to stress; be patient and understanding. 
  4. Prevent stigma by using facts and reminding students to be considerate of one another 
  5. Coordinate with the school to receive information and ask how you can support school safety efforts (though parent-teacher committees, etc.)

CHECKLIST FOR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS, TEACHERS, AND STAFF

  1. Promote and demonstrate regular hand washing and positive hygiene behaviors and monitor their uptake. Ensure adequate, clean and separate toilets for girls and boys. Ensure soap and safe water is available at age-appropriate handwashing stations. Encourage frequent and thorough washing (at least 20 seconds). Place hand sanitizers in toilets, classrooms, halls, and near exits where possible. Ensure adequate, clean and separate toilets or latrines for girls and boys.
  2. Clean and disinfect school buildings, classrooms and especially water and sanitation facilities at least once a day, particularly surfaces that are touched by many people (railings, lunch tables, sports equipment, door and window handles, toys, teaching, and learning aids, etc.). Use sodium hypochlorite at 0.5% (equivalent 5000ppm) for disinfecting surfaces and 70% ethyl alcohol for disinfection of small items, and ensure appropriate equipment for cleaning staff.
  3. Increase airflow and ventilation where the climate allows (open windows, use air conditioning where available, etc.).
  4. Post signs encouraging good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.
  5. Ensure trash is removed daily and disposed of safely.


Author,

Raviprakash Tiwari