Effects on Covid 19 on students are devastating. Due to the global spread of Covid-19, more than 200 countries mandated lockdown and closure of educational institutes to prevent viral infection. Pakistan was among the first countries to imply the widespread closure of educational institutes during the arising pandemic situation.
The closure of schooling contributed to effective efforts for social distancing and viral prevention. However, it has implied a serious consequence related to the schooling and learning procedures. According to a recent study, the closures have disrupted the learning of more than 1.7 billion students (91 percent of the total enrolled individuals) around the world. (Hazir & Johar 2021)
In the midst of prevalent illness, this lockdown situation not only adversely affected the economy, but the shutdown of educational activities created a huge gap in students’ knowledge all over the globe leading to the major learning loss.
Adverse Impact on Students:
Pakistan’s most population consists of young adults, the large fraction is made up of students. The adverse effect of isolation has greatly compromised the social lifestyle and mental health of students including frustration, stress, and depression. A retrospective study conveyed that nearly 85.8% of the participants felt tired and lack motivation which emphasizes the lockdown psychological effects. Moreover, findings revealed that excessive digital media usage causes worsening of sleep patterns, reduced physical activity, and perception of time flow mitigated many social issues. (Ali.A et.al 2021) Due to lack of motivation, many students procrastinate and scaled-down their study time to only 4-5 hours per week during the covid outbreak.
Implementation of ICT methods for the continuation of remote learning surfaced many unsettling issues. Students have been facing a lot of problems grasping concepts during e-classes which is majorly due to inadequate internet resources and insufficient prior guidance related to the usage of the online platforms. The challenges regarding online classes are faced by both students and teachers. Although, all the necessary resources are provided by the faculty, still students are having difficulty grasping certain concepts, gain knowledge and are unable to communicate properly with their teachers during online sessions. With the maladministration of proper resources, many students fear not graduating timely, delay in project acceptance, or not finishing their exams due to pandemic restrictions.
Increased Drop-out Ratio:
The pandemic times have caused a huge socio-economic shock leading to the high poverty levels within the country. In such crises of high-income elasticity, many students are forced to drop out and opt to earn bread for their family members. In a research of the ‘’World bank Document 2020’’ It is presumed that Pakistan may have the highest dropouts due to the COVID crisis in relative terms.
Learning poverty can be defined as being unable to read or write a simple text by the age of 10. Around 53% of children residing in low or middle-income countries are unable to read and understand a simple text at the end of their primary education level. According to the official government data, Pakistan’s learning poverty level is already high at 75 percent. A new report suggested learning poverty in Pakistan may rise up to 79% due to the closure of institutions during Covid-19.
Pakistan’s Take-up on Remote Learning:
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan has taken remarkable initiatives to support remote learning. To boost the literacy rate, Pakistan has launched its own first educational content channel known as Tele-School and Taleem Ghar in the Urdu language with the best international practices to promote the overall educational system.
Despite remote learning’s universal appeal, there are many setbacks such as the required resources for learning purposes are not accessible to everyone. As loyal citizens, we are all needed to step ahead to support our educational system, protect essential services, expand the connectivity, and preserve the budget for education. COVID-19 has affected everyone, but we can never let the young generation of our society suffer from the crisis that threatens their present and their future.
Ms. Sadaf Ahmad is an Internee at STUDENTINN SOLUTIONS. She contributes as Content Intern.