The current pandemic has affected everyone. It has affected our personal and professional lives, as well as our households, habits, plans, and much more. This time has been hard on people for various reasons. Some people lost their jobs, income, or even their loved one. Others miss out on their social life, studies, and public events. No one saw it coming, so it’s fair to say the current pandemic has caught all of us off guard. Even governments and institutions had little preparation of plans in place in case of a possible pandemic.
This is why it is important to acknowledge the immense work most institutions have been doing since the beginning of the pandemic. Schools and universities, in particular, have been trying to do their best in keeping their students on the curriculum. Both students and schools had to adapt to the new world. As some students have taken those changes well, others may struggle. Some of the pandemic measures could bring out the best in students, while other measures could contribute to inequality among their students.
Let’s see whether the given pandemic resulted in some positive outcomes for the students or if it became another drawback on the way to high-quality education. Here are the good, the bad, and the ugly of the pandemic’s effect on education.
The Negative Side of Distance Education
Needless to say, the current pandemic, and lockdowns that came with it, did little to no good to any student out there. The lack of in-person communication, constant stress, a threat to physical health, and more had led to a rapid decrease in students’ performance. Moreover, all the enlisted factors also contribute to numerous mental health issues, such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
Beyond the pandemic being a major stress factor, it has also affected the quality of education. The lack of in-person teaching led to a decrease in mutual understanding and miscommunication. Students feel less engaged in the classes and less motivated to participate and be active. After all, when a student can read all the steps to writing a literature review online at any time they want, they feel more reluctant to spend time on online sessions with their teachers.
Internet is not a Solution for All Students
Not to mention that these days the educational system relies heavily on technologies and the Internet. However, not all students could have unlimited access to devices or be online on time. Many households may not have an Internet connection or computers enough for every child. Hence, the lack of access to resources could seriously affect a student’s performance. In addition, many households greatly benefit from school lunches, as it was one meal parents didn’t have to worry about, though now it was not in the picture.
Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to state that a pandemic has only negative results on students’ performance. Those students who were willing to master their discipline continued to study as hard as they could. However, such dedication required them much more than it would normally have. For one, the given pandemic has certainly taught many young people many new skills. Time management, discipline, and self-reliance contribute to any graduate’s new skill set by the end of their studies.
Online Education Cannot Replace the Traditional Classes
Surely, time management was a common necessity for students. Though, as for the rest, students had to access that most often they had only themselves to count on in their studies. There is no denying that some forms of traditional education are still present during online education. Lectures (Zoom sessions), homework, tests, and other typical elements of college life are still here. However, without the need to visit lectures and without possibilities to see professors in person, students could have gotten more distant and distracted from their studies.
Many students had to grow up a little faster and learn to accept responsibility for their actions to avoid slacking behind. Though, as current statistics show, even students who are really trying to keep up may end up with only a 70% performance rate of their norm. Thus, education during pandemic slowed down the performances of even the most dedicated students. Overall, there is simply a difference between discussing things like essay samples in class with your teacher and searching for them cluelessly on your own.
As you may see, the one thing we can’t deny is that the current pandemic has affected every student in both a positive and negative manner. It is hard to tell whether the effect the pandemic has on students is the same for everyone or not. However, it is possible to say that there is more harm from the pandemic than positive outcomes when assessing education and student performance.
Saying so, it’s also worth mentioning that those students who managed to improve their performances during this time have done an immense job. Whether it is the result of the pandemic or their personal strength and motivation should be judged by each individual case, of course.