COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing mega-experiment in distant learning demonstrates that no country has been properly prepared for such a challenge.
To address the educational crisis, the most inspiring actions have been taken by individual teachers in both rich and poor countries.
Within national and international communities, some enthusiastic teachers recorded tutorials on how to use interactive platforms for online education.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing mega-experiment in distant learning demonstrates that no country has been properly prepared for such a challenge. Schools and universities in both developing and developed countries struggle with the complexity of providing equitable access to education. Owing to a dearth of international leadership in education suggesting “best practices” and “countries as educational models,” self-organized local communities of teachers and educators at the grassroots level are stepping up.
To address the educational crisis, the most inspiring actions have been taken by individual teachers in both rich and poor countries. Many teachers across the globe have taken the initiative to switch to a distant education mode with whatever tools and competencies they had. Teachers enthusiastically have come into the forefront of emergency teaching and learning with strong sense of self-reflection and self-management.
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“Results of our survey, “This pandemic has shown that the world needs new partnerships in education to ensure more equitable educational provision”.
Within national and international communities, some enthusiastic teachers recorded tutorials on how to use interactive platforms for online education; others created lesson plans and methodologies, and shared them with each other. Yet others became involved in brainstorming policy options of how to reach out to students in remote villages without internet connectivity, or discussed educational solutions for minority populations or students with special education needs. Many of them initiated partnerships with local charities to help socially disadvantaged students receive internet access, laptops, or mobile phones. Some enthusiastic teachers got involved in designing and developing programs for nation-wide TV lesson broadcasts.
Global Education Coalition reflects the necessity of collaboration among multiple partners, including grassroots movements and civil society actors, multilateral organizations, private educational companies.
This experience showed vividly that when educators were given freedom and autonomy, they came up with context-appropriate solutions; when existing hierarchies lost their power, albeit temporarily, teachers improvised, thus becoming the agents of change. Most important, such actions have strengthened local capacities, which will be more sustainable in the future. We demand so much from teachers, but often forget to trust them .
It is not an easy path, though. Switching to online modes of teaching has not been stress-free for teachers and it has taken its toll on the mental well-being of educators. Moreover, initiatives at the grassroots level are also filled with risks, disappointments, and frustrations, but they are democratic in nature, empower educators, and have lasting effects.
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