Survey reveals unpreparedness of the education sector to pandemic crisis

According to the latest research conducted by the Mumbai-based digital agency, C Com Digital, most of the institutes and schools like everyone else faulted on foreseeing the pandemic knocking down whole system – starting from admissions, placements, teaching, to examinations.

 Most of the students and professors surveyed agreed on facing the direct impact of the crisis mainly due to the discomfort of virtual learning, minimal study material, heavy distraction due to the environment, and technology newness. The research’noticed that though the education industry is facing unparalleled adversity, it has also shown willingness towards embracing digital technologies – be it on the part of students or teachers – and this, now seems like a force that’s slowly advancing the whole sector.  

The research showed there is now a window of opportunity for institutes to introduce & inculcate specialized technical skills that help understand the virtual learning functions and to establish ERP systems for better delivery of entire education system. Some experts likened it to forward leaping and bigger roles for Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Mining, and Content Development.

The downside of this crisis was revealed as lack of physical classroom lectures, absence of campus visits, prolonged isolation, and increased pressure to transition to the virtual world and mental health issues students. At the same time it came to that educational institutes are extending their help to promote seeking support from online counsellors, therapists, and other experts, and the affected students, in turn, in large numbers, are cooperating to access guidance for improving their behavioural and mental well-being.

Many are reaping the benefits by utilizing different communication platforms and video applications to conduct lectures, training, delivering e-content modules, and other internal interactions.

Chandan Bagwe, Founder and Managing Director, C Com Digital, shared, “The idea of conducting this research was to gain insights into the position of the education sector and the huge impact that COVID-19 has caused. Having interviewed several professors, students, and experts from the fraternity, we observed that by and large, the major hindrance that the lockdown has produced is the change of the ‘teaching and learning model’ and unanticipated entry as well as reliance on technology, which was earlier never embraced. In hindsight, the crisis has paved a new path towards digital technologies into all areas of business – right from distance learning programs, online classes, virtual training, online workshops, digital admission process, and virtual placements performed through online interviews.This unprecedented time should be looked upon as a phase that changed the face and phase of the education sector. It’s perhaps the right time for educational institutions to consider utilizing the modern means of technology to match the global standards and to help the system recover.”

Uncertain times call for well-strategized and supervised measures.  By next 2 to 5 years the entire dynamics of the education system will change as we know it and some positive changes are taking place, starting with the replacement of classroom teaching with educational videos, the fact remains that there’s a long way to go in terms of improving the use of technology and helping students seek its rewards in order to self-learn, build a stronger community, and stand at par with international standards.