The numbers related to COVID-19 affect different spheres of our lives are still being processed and will be processed in the nearest years. However, you don’t need to be a statistician to notice a particularly strong effect the coronavirus pandemic had on education.
UN, UNESCO, and other organizations started issuing reports earlier this year regarding this issue, so now we have an opportunity to analyze them and present them in this article.
Covid-19 Effect of Education: Statistics
According to the report released by the UN in August 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the largest malfunctioning of education systems in the entire history, which affected nearly 1.6 billion students in over 190 countries and on all continents.
Closing schools and other educational institutions affected 94 percent of the global student population, and up to 99 percent in low-income countries and below the average income.
Let’s dig deeper into the effect of coronavirus on educational processes worldwide.
UNESCO estimates that over 1.5 billion students in 165 countries are unable to attend classes due to COVID-19. The pandemic has forced the global academic community to turn to new teaching methods, including distance and online learning.
This has proven challenging for both students and teachers, who have to cope with the negative emotional, physical, and economic consequences of the disease while helping to combat the spread of the virus.
No one knows what the future holds, especially the millions of students who, after graduating from university this year, will face a global economy severely hit by the pandemic.
Major Changes in Education Due to Covid-19
- Growing chasm between access to education between low-income and high-income families/societies. More and more people of different ages around the world get access to education. It is one of the recent 50 years’ victories, as access to education increased worldwide, partially thanks to new technologies, partially to stabilized economies, investments, and charity work of international funds and communities, etc. Covid-19 changed the course of this particular history. For now, it is impossible to estimate how far back it took the level of free access to quality education — 5 years? 10 years? 20? Of course, we cannot say that only students from low-income families have suffered from this situation, but they suffered the most. Families with 3-4 kids going to school at the same time cannot afford 3-4 separate computers or laptops for kids to follow online lessons all the time. Many governments launched TV-channels fully devoted to distance learning, but it is obvious that in many countries, not only is TV still a luxury but also electricity may be a problem.
- Poorer level of education. It is to be determined yet, as for now, we lack statistics to prove this point. However, it is rather obvious that 80%+ teachers, professors, tutors, educational institutions, in general, were not ready to move the entire educational process online. Students don’t or did not have access to libraries and other college and university facilities for a long time. Group work reportedly was much less efficient, and professors talk about much stronger burnout. Also, as group dynamics don’t help, students pay much less attention to online lectures and say that it is very hard to concentrate studying at home. Distractions caused by other people staying at home during the lockdown and increased household chores also don’t help students pay more attention to their assignments.
- Increased demand for quality tutors and academic writing professionals. While it is getting more difficult to study, students look for options to maintain the same level of academic excellence. Some students hire tutors, some look for help from someone who are real academic experts, working for reliable writing services, such as Write My Paper Hub and other essay writing companies which write papers for money. Many students say that previously they almost never addressed writing companies for help, but now they feel much less motivated and unable to finish the same amount of tasks at the same time. Some complain that professors fail to provide enough information for the completion of complex tasks, and they are forced to address writing services for assistance. There are also reports that older students had to start working remotely to support families due to Covid-19 related economic crisis, and often, it is easier and cheaper to order a paper than to spend potentially working hours on it.
- Students request discounts on tuition and additional fees. Students rightfully state that online education is less spendy for universities than a normal one, and also the level of this education is not as it should have been offline. Students and their parents request to pay less or receive some money back from colleges and universities, while educational institutions claim that they already don’t have enough funds to support the system as is. This crisis hasn’t been solved yet, and any time these cases can be taken to courts around the world.
- International students got stuck. There are countries that don’t allow students to come back, there are countries that initiated closing dormitories, etc. Some international students have to choose whether to go back home for some time or no, and some of them cannot afford any other dwelling than on-campus dwellings, which get closed.
Someone can claim that education is not the primary sphere compared to the medical sphere, and problems have in many industries, losing jobs, losing food supply chains, etc.
However, a better world can be built only by motivated and educated people. Also, in 2018, only in the USA almost four million people worked in educational services, and all of them get affected by Covid-19 along with students.