The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a total halt in all businesses around the world due to the disruption and closure of brick and mortar stores. However, during such a global health crisis, teaching and learning have not been halted simply due to the resilience and dedication of exemplary teachers and their leadership during such trying times. UNESCO along with support from the governments of the UK, Norway and Ghana, convened an exclusive panel of discussion for teachers to address issues like the continuance of the online method of teaching in schools and how it can impact the overall system and quality of education in the long run. This Global Education Meeting (GEM) focused on the primary issue of teaching and education post the Covid-19 pandemic and revealed several new characteristics of teachers and their effective leadership role in all of this.
The Impact of Covid-19 on Teaching and Education
UNESCO estimates that since the initiation of the nationwide lockdown across the different countries of the world, roughly 1.6 billion students have been away from school and have been getting accustomed to learning through group video calls or other such online portals. The age-old tradition of classroom learning has been buried deep down into an abyss that is extremely hard to climb out of. As a result, several schools in different socio-cultural and national settings upon announcing their reopening have been the subject of hot debate. Nevertheless, teachers have not quit their duties and during such circumstances, they have in many cases innovated beyond comprehension and through their able leadership have been able to conduct successful online classes to ensure that education never reaches a standstill.
The Leadership of Teachers in Kabul
Afghanistan, a country that has a major part of it being controlled by the Taliban militant group, has faced some challenges during the pandemic that was unthinkable in other parts of the world. A major portion of these Taliban controlled areas does not have access to internet connectivity, making it impossible for teachers to conduct online classes in the pursuit of keeping education alive during such dire times. However, the government of Afghanistan, based at the capital Kabul, has for the first time in history implemented a country-wide online platform for teachers to conduct online classes for students. In this context, teachers have taken up a significant role.
Why Go Abroad to Complete Higher Education?
Owing to such socio-political instabilities in countries like Afghanistan, coupled with the lack of proper online learning portal for higher education like bachelor’s and master’s degree courses, several Afghani students have opted to migrate to neighboring countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, which have a much better educational infrastructure sans the extreme political mayhem. In this context, universities in India like Sharda University have been excelling at providing students with a world-class education at par with some of the most prestigious Western universities. Sharda University has been happily welcoming such aspiring Afghani students in the spirit of free and fair education.