Education After the Vaccine: What’s Next?

Written by: Sara

Edited by: Chris

Visual by: Issy

2020 was sardonically dubbed the “worst year in recent memory” by many across the globe. However, it came to a close on a positive note, with various manufacturers successfully creating effective vaccines and beginning the distribution process. Thanks to their efforts, more than 90 million doses have already been administered worldwide. As we begin to heal, we must now look forward in anticipation of returning to school. What will education around the world look like in the aftermath of the pandemic?

Virtual school highlights the need for an environment that allows students to work well independently. Even after returning to the school campus, education systems will continue to encourage students to actively pursue their learning in a self-sufficient manner both inside and outside the classroom. In addition, with applications such as Zoom having been used as prominent mediums by students to continue their education online, increasing accessibility to technology has become all the more important. Schools will strive to achieve this goal to empower students with the resources needed for independent learning, as well as ensure that education can go on in the face of setbacks like the pandemic. In particular, there will be much support for making more digital platforms available for free and providing easy access to educational resources.

Extended periods of online learning resulted in stronger connections between teachers, students, and parents. Schools quickly learned that they needed to provide parents with guidance so that they could adequately support their children’s education at home. Likewise, students and parents found themselves contacting teachers more often. This growth in back-and-forth communication helped form a mutual sense of connectivity, and increased appreciation for each other’s trials and successes. Schools are also witnessing changes in the roles of parents and teachers. Once schools open again, parents may feel inclined to take on a more active role in their child’s education, as they have done during virtual school. Teachers may encourage students to use online resources to further their knowledge, prompting them to grow into more independent learners.

Like almost every other aspect of life, education has had to adapt to the “new normal”. The challenges of living in a pandemic have reminded us of the importance of building resilience into our education system, ensuring that students can continue to enrich themselves. It has also brought on unexpected positive developments in the way we support each other that will hopefully continue even after we revert to in-person learning. Looking ahead to 2021 may be a daunting process, but it is undeniably one that will help maximize the quality of our education in these rapidly changing times.

Works Cited

Arundel, Kara. “3 COVID-19 Education Trends Set to Persist Post-Pandemic.” K-12 Dive, 19 Oct. 2020, http://www.k12dive.com/news/education-trends-to-continue-post-pandemic/586911.

“Education in a Post-COVID World: Nine Ideas for Public Action.” UNESCO, 2020, en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/education_in_a_post-covid_world-nine_ideas_for_public_action.

Harris, Douglas N. “How Will COVID-19 Change Our Schools in the Long Run?” Brookings, The Brookings Institution, 24 Apr. 2020, http://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2020/04/24/how-will-covid-19-change-our-schools-in-the-long-run/.Spencer, Geoff. “Schools after COVID-19: From a Teaching Culture to a Learning Culture.” Microsoft Stories Asia, Microsoft, 17 June 2020, news.microsoft.com/apac/features/technology-in-schools-from-a-teaching-culture-to-a-learning-culture.