Recently, the world faced the onset of a recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and people are still recovering from its adverse effects. One of the areas impacted the most was the education sector, including the quality of education imparted to students worldwide.
Many students may have faced difficulties coping with pandemic-related restrictions, in addition to the changes in teacher quality and the overall quality of education. Some students had easy access to the internet, smartphones, laptops, etc., but for others, there was little to no access, which impacted the quality of education they received. Furthermore, during these restrictions, students may have also suffered the loss of family members and friends or even been in unpleasant lockdown situations. All of these factors can also impact the quality of education.
While on the subject, reading about how higher education funding does not have to take a hit during recessions.
High-quality education is essential for students who require access to efficient teachers and teaching tools, especially quality in higher education. Students need care and support to help them focus on their studies and their primary goal: learning.
Here are five ways that policymakers can improve the quality of education for students during a recession:
Take a Personal Approach in Class
The most crucial factor in improving the quality of education in a post-pandemic world is to take a personalized approach to education by interacting with students. A healthy and appealing learning environment should be provided. This is particularly important for online teachers to keep in mind, as it contributes significantly toward improving teacher quality. Assisting students in forming connections with one another fosters a sense of community in the classroom. The environment and the teacher are probably the most crucial aspects of imparting quality teaching during challenging times, such as a recession.
Make Changes in the Course Structure
The most significant aspect of high-quality education is the course curriculum, which shapes the quality of education. Many schools and colleges follow an outdated curriculum with little relevance to the current global scenario. Policymakers should note that education must not be limited to textbooks. Instead, it must take a practical approach to prepare students for the future. COVID-19 is an excellent example of how the global situation took an unexpected turn, and now, people are more dependent on online activities for their daily tasks, studies and work.
Policymakers should note that changes are inevitable in a wide range of industries. When these changes occur, the school’s curriculum may become obsolete and, to some extent, irrelevant. The effects of the recession on higher education. Therefore, schools must change their curriculum to accommodate developments in various industries.
The main aim of prioritizing quality in higher education or having quality teaching is to address the skills gap. The skills gap denotes the mismatch between graduates’ talents and employers’ needs. Having the potential to equip students with the appropriate knowledge and skill sets is a crucial prerequisite to providing high-quality education. Moreover, it also demands better teacher quality. Hiring new talent and/or training the existing teaching staff is an effective way to improve the quality of education.
Leveraging technology in education should be the foremost goal of every educator. For educational institutions that do not have existing technology but want to provide high-quality education, it is never too late to start using digital tools. Technology is easily accessible and has improved in its accessibility over the years. Hence, policymakers must step toward leveraging technology in schools to promote quality teaching.
Considering the versatile nature of technology, it can undoubtedly aid in enhancing the quality of education in schools. Some schools are substituting paper and pencils with tablets. Leveraging technology is a proven way to improve student engagement and learning. Teachers can also monitor the development of their students more efficiently and effectively. Hence, technology also improves teacher quality and facilitates quality teaching. Multiple digital tools can be used for educational purposes, and schools can choose the most beneficial to the institution’s growth.
Prepare Teachers and Improve Teaching Standards
Teachers found themselves in an unfamiliar situation where they were required to cover the current year’s curriculum while making up for lost time from the previous school year affected by the pandemic. On top of all this, they also had to look after the health of themselves and their students. Also, school closures indicated that educators might require assistance to change their curriculum to an online curriculum. To achieve this, educators need coaching and other forms of support. The National Council on Teacher Quality in the United States provides information in these areas and more.
Not surprisingly, studies have indicated that underqualified instructors translate to low student results. The good news, though, is that this is among the many areas where policymakers can play a role. They can clarify the requirements for applicants looking for a career as a teacher, the necessary skills they must possess and the standards they must follow to ensure high teacher quality.
Address Overcrowding Issues
Overcrowding is among the significant problems schools and instructors face in the present day affecting the quality of education. There is overcrowding whenever the number of students registered in a school exceeds the number of pupils the school was designed to handle.
This issue results from an increase in student population, a lack of instructors and a decline in the financing, which forces class sizes to skyrocket. It is becoming commonplace for schools to be overcrowded. When this happens, policymakers should address the issues since the following adverse effects can occur:
- Overcrowding leads to an inadequate number of teachers, leading to teachers overworking and a reduction in quality teaching.
- Overcrowding leads to students not getting the necessary and personalized attention due to the imbalanced student-teacher ratio, resulting in lower grades.
- Overcrowding leads to students losing interest and dropping out of school.
Policymakers can start addressing this issue by developing comprehensive plans to prevent overcrowding.
Enhancing the quality of education in schools will require policymakers to increase funding, even during difficult times like a recession. But investments in education will pay off in the long term as it will improve teacher quality, quality in higher education and other areas. Eventually, more parents and guardians will entrust the particular school with educating their children, leading to their investment in the school. By improving the quality of education in these five ways during a recession, policymakers are sure to see positive short- and long-term results.