Higher Education Must Rise to the Challenges and Opportunities Presented by COVID-19
One thing that we’ve all begun to understand since the arrival of the Corona-virus Pandemic has been the importance of scientists and people that support them. it’s clear to the planet that until there’s a vaccine there’s no real chance of bringing things in check. Governments have endeavored to wrestle with the necessity to attenuate risk and deaths, and social distancing has become a key aspect of these efforts. Progress is being made, but it’s often fitful and patchy, and there’s always the ever present danger of further peaks of infection if we ease up too quickly, or just resume life because it wont to be before the arrival of COVID-19. the truth is that the ways of behavior, of interaction and doing business got to change and already there are signs of a replacement normal emerging, one that’s predicated on the necessity to take care, vigilant and conscious of the very fact that anyone can catch the disease, which anyone can spread it. Yet for all that, there’s a pressing got to attempt to return to some sort of normality, mindful of the very fact that the disease remains a really real danger. One sector that has found itself severely disrupted by the Corona-virus has been that of upper education. Universities and colleges are closed, academic and support staff left in fear for his or her futures, and students’ studies intele rrupted, and exams cancelled or postponed indefinitely. it’s as if the pause button has been pressed on the whosector, and yet this is often the very sector that gives those scientists et al. which will tackle future crises. watching the upper education sector it soon becomes apparent that the present paralysis needn’t exist, with a touch imagination, and a few technical know-how learning can continue. Granted the normal face to face teaching that we’ve all been wont to cannot plow ahead at the present, but various technological platforms mean that academics and students can interact during a controlled and professional manner. Already many institutions round the world have realized that they will justify their existence by conducting online teaching, with staff finding the method something of a revelation. Naturally, there are a couple of technical glitches and teething problems, but once these are ironed out all concerned seem to feel that the method is useful and what’s more know that learning is being maintained and advanced. So, what are the challenges for such a process in Bangladesh? Well, one among the best hurdles to surmount is that the psychological one in respect of resistance to vary. Some academics and lots of members of leadership and management teams aren’t particularly tech savvy and don’t entirely grasp how online learning platforms might work. There are understandable anxieties about the necessity for training, and therefore the development and availability of suitable learning resources. Such processes require total commitment, which means staff think through what material is formed available and the way lessons or units develop along side the training objectives and assessment tasks. Many staff have little or no experience of such learning then fear being exposed by such a process. Everyone must engage in some heuristic learning – learning by doing, and overtime ambivalence or hostility to such learning evaporates, and it can often be found to be a iterating experience. what’s more institutions are finding that they will develop units and courses which will be easily offered to students who for whatever reason actually prefer distance learning. With planning and therefore the appropriate monitoring and checks and balances, and in fact safeguards around privacy etc. there’s potential to tap into how of learning that’s undergoing exponential growth across much of the planet. For such learning to be effective in Bangladesh it’s paramount that each one students have access to the training platforms, and this might well mean that tablets and other devices become a typical learning tool, one that’s issued to all or any students and if necessary built into the fee structure. instead of viewing such technology as a price, it’s must be seen as an asset, one that helps facilitate and optimize learning. it’s vital that internet connectivity is improved and consolidated, something that’s integral to the economy. So, with this in mind, there are some questions that require to be asked of every and each HE institution:
1) What learning is out there online?
2) What plans are afoot to develop online learning?
3) How often are staff given training to support the introduction of online teaching?
4) What funds are budgeted for the event of online learning? If not, why not?
5) what’s being done to make sure that each one students can access the web learning platform?
6) What lessons are being learnt from what’s being done internationally?
7) Who are the web Learning change-makers within the institution, and are they being adequately supported?
8) What are the chief concerns about online learning and the way might these be addressed?
9) Are various stakeholders being consulted so as make sure that the system works efficiently and effectively?
10) What mechanisms are in situ to guard IT systems from viruses and hackers?
11) Could time and resources be saved by holding more meetings via online meeting platforms?
12) How is online learning being recognized and celebrated?
There are very real opportunities at this time to innovate, not only for the time of the Pandemic, except for the longer term. the foremost forward-thinking institutions have already recognized that this is often a golden opportunity to embrace positive chance, to make sure the world is both relevant and dynamic. nobody is saying that it’s easy, but it certainly are often exciting. When people embrace change and are helped to adapt thereto remarkable things happen. now’s the time to harness the country’s considerable IT talent to make sure that it becomes trans formative within the field of upper education and beyond. Quietly and relentlessly a revolution is happening, one which will broaden all our horizons about what learning and indeed the planet of labor can become. Looking further afield we’ll notice that resistance is futile, change is already happening, it’s just that things arising from the Corona-virus has speeded things up. nobody should be in any doubt that there’ll be challenges, but the straightforward fact is that these are far outweighed by the opportunities.