Education is one sector which is one of the most substantial disruptions caused by the pandemic. Teachers and students were lurched out of their daily routines and obliged to adapt to the new circumstances at a noticeably short notice.
Classroom teaching transformed into an online teaching platform which made the digital divide more apparent which was more multi layered in the form of rural – urban, new and old generation, geography, and financial capacity.
As majority of the population were able to quickly adapt to the changing needs of smartphones, internet, and other devices to comprehend the current need for education, there still exists marginalised sections of the society who took tremendous time and effort to adopt the new learning process.
Every country had been working on expanding access to remote learning ever since the pandemic. However, teachers too, are facing the pain of the transition. Primarily, it is the unfamiliarity of the older generation with the digital world and majority of the teachers in schools and colleges in the small towns and villages still do not have proper access to digital technologies. Therefore, education system is still to cope with the post-COVID-19 world, where online learning and digital technology shall play a significant role.
Nearly 1.6 billion students in over 190 countries were affected in 2020 due to the world-wide lockdown. This could have been even worse had the educators and students not risen to the challenge and adaptation to new and improved of teaching and learning. Technology has emerged as a lifeline for the academic world hindered by the pandemic.
Such circumstances have compelled every human to learn and adapt transversal competencies which illustrate socio-technical capacities like how to promote self-education, deploying technology for advanced learning, self-regulating one's behavior, emotions, and thoughts in different digital environments much required in this Edu-tech era.
This disruption in the delivery of education is pushing authorities to chalk out measures on how to drive engagement at scale while ensuring inclusive e-learning solutions and tackling the digital divide. Continuous efforts in stabilising and streamlining the situation that the pandemic has compelled governments to act upon is possible only through technological disruption in the education sector. This would require an immense infusion of resources for capacity building and widening access where greater public-private partnerships can play a vital role in resource mobilisation, innovation and implementation.