The COVID-19 Pandemic changed the face of the world’s educational systems forever. In March 2020, nearly all educational institutions were forced to shift to an online model of learning. New technologies, educational software, and video streaming platforms became the order of the day as millions of students and teachers shifted learning to the new online world.
Further assessments undertaken during the time period revealed the pros and cons of online learning. After more than two years, the pandemic entered the endemic stage and this led to the reopening of educational institutions and going back to the normal modes of teaching and learning. This led to a fresh set of problems for both students, teachers, and institutions.
In this resource article, we are going to shed some light on the problems and challenges that were faced by students in the aftermath of the reopening of schools and colleges. If you are a student that has been struggling to make the shift back to the old reality, this article will help you cope with many of the challenges you might be facing right now.
Understanding the Challenges Faced by Students After Reopening of Educational Institutions
Let us begin by stating the obvious problems that were faced by students, teachers, and administrators during the pandemic and subsequent online learning shift-
- Most of the families of the students suffered financially as a result of the loss of livelihood opportunities during the pandemic. They could not afford to pay the school fees.
- Students were expected to invest in new technologies like tablets, smartphones, computer systems, and other software that their schools for online learning mandated. This was expensive, to say the least, and further drained the family financially.
- They lost out on meeting their school friends and suffered from poor mental health issues. Their movements were restricted as the vaccines that came out were only meant for adults, not young children.
- Students that required special attention, including children with disabilities found it tough to get attention from teachers and administrators. This led to them falling behind in their coursework and contributed to a lack of self-confidence.
- Mental health concerns took priority as depression, negative news, and financial troubles plagued students and their families. News of near and dear ones passing away took their toll on their mental health drastically.
Given the pressures, students were expected to take on all the educational coursework, assignments, tests, and presentations. While it was beneficial for some, the vast majority suffered because of one reason or another. Many students during the pandemic benefitted from the presence of great platforms like Fresh Essays that we’re able to help them with assignments.
Reopening of Schools and Adjusting to the Old Reality of the Educational System
The reopening of schools and colleges was viewed with much hope and optimism. Children could finally spend time with their friends, opt for extracurriculars, and take part in events that were taking place in the physical world.
While the levels of optimism were higher than ever, there were certain challenges and problems that became apparent as soon as the educational institutions reopened-
Pandemic Fear and Anxiety
While it is true that the worst impact of the pandemic has subsided, cases are still being reported. Children and their frail minds had been exposed to news of death and despair that were being reported from across the country. Even after the schools have reopened, this far and anxiety looms large. This is an area that requires active counseling by parents and teachers.
Socio-Economic Support and Emotional Well-Being
Suddenly children are being forced to socialize with other kids. The pandemic had resulted in a change in their nature and behavior. They were told to avoid meeting people or interacting with them. Now they are once again being asked to play on teams, do group assignments together, and present ideas. This change is taking a toll on their social and emotional skills.
Financial Problems Faced by Parents and Families
A lot of national governments had mandated that educational institutions reduce their fees during the pandemic. This was done to provide some economic relief to the families that had suffered during the pandemic. While the economic situation has not improved much, the reopening means that fees are back to their normal levels and have gone up even higher!
Following Health and Safety Guidelines
We already mentioned that COVID-19 cases are still very much being reported across the world. New variants are still making people fall sick. In such a situation, educational institutions have numerous health and safety mandates. Some of them are masking up, maintaining a distance, using sanitizers, temperature checks, vaccines, and more.
Constant Back and Forth Between Online and Offline Models
One bizarre development that has taken place is the constant back and forth between online and offline models of learning. As soon as a fresh new case is reported in an institution, the place is getting shut for a week or ten days and everything is going back to the online world. This is happening repeatedly in all countries and locations across the world.
What Should Teachers, Parents, and Administrators Do to Help Students?
While everyone is dealing and coping with the drastic changes in their own way, it is important for parents, teachers, and educational administrators to help children.
According to leading experts, the following strategies can be adopted-
- Speaking to the children and discussing their issues and problems should become a common feature in families and institutions.
- Mental health counseling is essential to understand the specific nature of problems being faced by individual students during and after the pandemic.
- Governments and agencies should step in to help families and students that are unable to pay fees and suffering from other economic distress.
- Educational coursework should be relaxed to allow students to get accustomed to the changes in their day-to-day life and not worry about added stresses and pressures.
- Teachers need to help kids learn more about technology and how it can help them. There might be an aversion that needs to be broken by teachers and parents.
The Bottom Line
While there were numerous challenges that were faced, students, teachers, parents, and administrators found ways to keep the learning going. They were creative, tough, and resilient in adapting to the new changes. The pandemic proved that anything can literally happen at any time and that adapting or evolving is the key to moving forward. Can you recall some problems you as a student, parent, or teacher faced during and after the pandemic? Let us know in the comments section below.