The peak of the coronavirus crisis seems to have passed, and the education system is starting to plan for the new normal. The pandemic has had a major impact on society, and it will likely be lasting. It has arguably had the greatest impact on education, and we still don’t fully understand to which extent.
All students from primary to sixth form were forced to study at home, their parents often acting as impromptu home school instructors while trying to juggle their own jobs. Schools had to readjust their curricula and change their whole approach to learning. This has also created a demand for a whole host of services and pushed some options that were once viewed as alternatives to the forefront. So, what’s next for the education market post-coronavirus?
Both More and Less Technology
We can’t shift to online education entirely given its spotty quality or the fact that not everyone has high-speed Internet. The economic impact of the shutdowns will hurt digital access further since some families have to choose between paying for food and Internet access. We can expect more schools to provide laptops and tablets to students, but books and workbooks will remain essential to educating our children. For college students, owning a laptop to access classes online will become commonplace.
Schemes will have to be put in place to make sure that every child in the country has the equipment and level of Internet access needed. This could also exacerbate the gap between classes, as children in two-parent homes with more monitoring and a better learning environment will be more likely to thrive in this format.
A Spike in Demand for Tutors
The shift to online schooling from brick and mortar schools was a massive and unplanned experiment. The quality of education depended on individual teachers as well as the institution. Unfortunately, nearly all students fell behind because of delays in shifting to online education and the slower progress made in online classes. Remedial maths and science education are going to be required to a greater degree than reading-intensive courses like history.
This is going to result in significant demand for tutors so that pupils can catch up. Fortunately, services like Tavistock Tutors allow you to find a teacher fast no matter what the subject is, ranging from physics all the way to drama. They test every tutor to ensure they know their material and offer tutors for all ages. For instance, if you were after a physics tutor, you can visit Tavistok Tutors here where you’ll see that tutors are available for a wide range of students studying A-Levels, SATs, GCSE, International Baccalaureate and much more. They also offer online tutoring, which is great not only if there are ongoing travel restrictions, but for convenience as well.
Greater Demand for Support Services
We’ve already mentioned the spike in demand for tutors to make up for the poorer quality education during the school shutdown. We can also expect to see a greater overall demand for support services.
Special education students couldn’t get the educational support they needed while stuck at home, but they still need therapy and counselling. Many more students will require general counselling due to the stresses and conflicts that arose at home. Kids will need refreshers on listening, studying, and other soft skills. We also don’t know how many children will be left with chronic anxiety or even PTSD given recent events.
Renewed Appreciation for Teachers
Many parents have now had a turn trying to teach their children. Furthermore, they often struggled to teach two or three children at home, while teachers deal with 20 to 30 students. We can expect far more gratitude for teachers in general.
We can also expect many parents to see home schooling as a real option now that they have experience with it. It might be through a third party or with parents acting as full-time teachers. Home schooling as a permanent option has been getting a lot of attention lately, and the tools we have at our disposal today make it much more convenient and accessible. We could also see a rise in home classes where groups of 5 to 6 students would get together and study from the same program to maintain a social aspect, or for logistical reasons.
A Reassessment of Vocational Training
Our society also has to reassess the value of various jobs and skill sets. People stocking grocery shelves, repairing power lines, and taking care of patients are now seeing more appreciation for their efforts. This may lead to a greater appreciation for the skilled trades, both from the public and from students. Furthermore, many students who debated going into debt to attend university will be taking a second look at vocational school.
Trade jobs pay reasonably well, are in demand, and they can’t be automated. More importantly, many countries are looking at bringing back essential manufacturing. This will increase the demand for people with the right skills, and schools will have to retool to train people for these jobs.
The coronavirus has affected every aspect of our lives and will reshape the educational system at all levels. However, we still don’t know to what extent, and how much parents and students will have to adapt.
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