In just a few months, the COVID-19 pandemic drastically transformed our lives. Even students and learners all over the world were required to remain where they are and are not allowed to go to school for academic studies freely. Most educational institutions required the employees and staff to perform as the skeletal workforce in observance of minimum health protocols.
Aside from its disturbing health consequences caused by a coronavirus, this pandemic provides major implications or impacts on higher education learners’ lives and work, affecting mental and physical well-being in profound ways. Over the previous months and years, education officials are forced to close doors and cancel classes all over the world to respond to the growing COVID-19 pandemic pro-actively. In addition to that, almost all institutions in different countries have switched the way of class sessions to an online type of learning.
Until now, COVID-19 is not effectively curbed, resulting from adapting to new changes in our lifestyles and new trend. As students, we even observe and experience the negative effects of this pandemic to our studies. We have no choice but to choose an online learning mode so that the educational system in our country will not be compromised. Aside from this major effect to the educational setup of our country, there are still some other notable impacts that COVID-19 has brought. Some of these negative effects may include:
- Sluggish movement of the students on the borders of specific places — Perhaps some of us can feel this impact, especially if we are one of the students who are studying abroad. This would be challenging for us to leave the place and return home because of the strict border restriction. For us to go home or travel from one place to another, there are several requirements that we need to present at the borders of the country. In addition to that, our parents may decide not to send us anymore abroad for higher education. It is because our parents are worried because of the risk brought by this virus.
- Passive learning of the students — The abrupt shift of classes to this new trend, online learning, has resulted in our students becoming inactive learners without any further planning. Perhaps some of us face challenges on this new trend because of the low level of attention to academic activities. Some of us also complain about the means and factors of using the online learning mode such as internet connection, laptops, or gadgets, which can be used for e-learning. Hence, sooner or later, we may then realize that the digital type of learning would be dull since it creates new batches of inactive learners. From a bigger perspective, this is really a great challenge to higher education.
- Unprepared teachers and professors for online education — Since online learning would be a special form of methodology in response to providing good and quality education, our teachers are required to undergo additional training & seminars related to the new approaches of a teaching-learning process to the new setup of mentoring. In fact, some of our teachers need to be techy to adapt the sudden transition of learning to a digital type of learning. Most of our teachers need to conduct lectures and lessons on some video platforms like Zoom and provide activities in some applications like Google Classroom. With this new setup, our students need to be online for a specific time because of these activities. However, the main problem is that not all students can afford gadgets and connect to the signal for the internet.
- Changing the format of student recruitment — Colleges and universities worldwide are experiencing major problems with student retention and recruitment. In fact, most of the schools are at risk of losing students because of the pandemic. As a result, universities or colleges need to reconsider their admission practices, recruitment procedures, and admission criteria.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has negative impacts to higher education, it also provides new opportunities which transform the educational system across the world. Some of these opportunities include the rise of blended learning, a more enhanced learning management system, the development of various learning materials, and the rise of collaborative work towards the quality educational standard.