Education is an ornament of prosperity and a refuge from adversity
– Aristotle (384-322 BC), Greek philosopher
With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting education, it is no longer an ornament or a refuge. It is the subject of an anxious public debate and a private concern. While governments, school administrators, teachers, and parents reflect on the disrupted education system, the media is not far behind in tracking the education scene with facts, analysis, and advice. But first, the facts: Delhi-based weekly Outlook has published a detailed article entitled Textbooks Don’t Tell Us … by Manika Sharma, principal of Shri Ram schools.
Below are excerpts from their final paragraphs: Learning Management Systems (LMS) help teachers teach online lessons, share reading materials, and grade assignments. These platforms can streamline much of the work of teachers and help you track student progress and connect with parents. Virtual reality (VR), which creates an immersive 3D environment that the user can explore, and augmented reality (RA), which imposes digital elements such as visuals, sounds and text on the user’s environment, are here to stay. The pandemic that has plagued the world for over a year has been a particularly daunting challenge for education.
Still, it can become a watershed transformative event to build more equitable and resilient education systems for the future. All stakeholders must work together in solidarity because the reform of our education system and the reinvention of learning cannot wait any longer. It is time for us to accept change and not let resistance stand in the way of inevitable progress.
As John Lewis said: If not now, then when? If not us, then who? It is appropriate to conclude with Shakespeare’s words from How Do You Like It. Sweets are the uses of adversity, which, like the toad, ugly and poisonous, carries a precious jewel on its head …