Doctors, Oxygen, and Vaccines for Education in COVID-19

Doctors, Oxygen, and Vaccines for Education in COVID-19

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High angle view of video conference with teacher on laptop at home. College student learning maths while watching online webinar, listening audio course. Top view of girl in video call with personal tutor on computer, distance and e-learning education concept.

COVID-19 is the pandemic that has shaken the world never before. It came as ‘ A bolt from the blue’.When the world was busy planning for the new year of 2020, came this thunderbolt. No one was prepared.

Its impact on education is yet to be known. But severe impacts have been felt and emerging as the world starts and learns to live with the deadly virus.

Nearly two-in-three ( about 66%) students are still affected by school closures – with many, particularly girls, who may never return, contributing to a surge in child marriage and increased child labor. Painful disruptions to education systems over the past one and half year already caused substantial losses and inequalities not only in learning but in the development process of all the countries. The debates have spilled out a number of basic issues:

  • Is distant and virtual learning is a substitute for off-line and in-person learning.
  • What are the impacts on education due to the ‘digital divide’, part of the students and teachers not having reliable internet services

Campus closures and the resulting setback to learning are projected to amount to losses valued at $10 trillion in terms of affected children’s future earnings as estimated by the World Bank in 2020.

The campus of Higher Educational Institutes also ensures the delivery of essential health services and nutritious meals, sports, and psycho-social support and the importance of working together. Thus, school closures have also endangered children’s overall wellbeing and development, not just their learning.

The COVID pandemic has taken more than four million lives, devastated the global economy, pushed a further 124 million people into extreme poverty, and continues to inflict profound suffering – dramatically impacting progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” said Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General. What do we do?

TERRE Policy Centre believes that students and faculty are the ‘Doctors for SDGs’. Digital Technologies and political will are the ‘oxygen Systems’ and Smart Campus Cloud Network is the ‘ vaccine’ to bring back SDGs on the track. How long would it take? Time will tell.

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