Future of education in the post-COVID-19 period

29-Oct-2020 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

How would students, who started elementary school in 2020, imagine a classroom?

They might think of the space on a computer monitor instead of the classroom in our generation’s minds.

To these students, the class in a room where they sit face-to-face with the teacher must be rather unfamiliar. Many practices that we considered normal are changing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every crisis can be turned into an opportunity. The contactless online learning that Korea piloted this year out of necessity bore the seeds of imagination leading to a new mode of education.

Education saw the potential of individually customised learning in the middle of a crisis.

Online learning, which seemed to be a thing of the distant future, became a daily routine. There were concerned voices when online learning, involving remote and in-person participation, was introduced somewhat abruptly due to the prevalence of COVID-19 at the beginning of the year.

Some wondered whether schools had the facilities for online learning and some worried that children of low-income families or children with learning difficulties might fall behind even further.

Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE) has made great efforts this year to wipe out these concerns.

The process of getting familiar with online learning was as strange and challenging as preventing COVID-19. The first half of this year was a period of trial and error.

Most students and teachers have now become familiar with online learning. Korea attracted the eyes of foreign media and governments for shrewdly handling safety and education.

It was praised as a successful case achieved by Korean-style education, or K-edu. The intense effort of teachers, students, and parents made it possible. Still, there are worries and uncertainties about the inequality in education.

Likewise, there are many obstacles that even the globally praised K-edu has to overcome.

Counselling and cooperation had limits within pre-existing methods. Contactless practices may have offered solutions to some of these. For example, among students who did not feel comfortable talking face-to-face with a teacher, some might feel more comfortable talking online.

Undoubtedly, the contactless methods also have limits that can work in the opposite way bringing some to close themselves off even further. We need to take advantage of opportunities and overcome these limits.

The direction is clear. We need to set up a classroom that enables individualised education that treats each student fairly by using a variety of software to assist teachers.

Instead of teaching a million students by class in a standardised system, we should provide a million customised education systems for a million students to start a journey toward realising a classroom that nurtures a million students’ dreams.

SMOE is leading the change in each classroom that can reflect individual characteristics of all the students in Seoul.

The problems COVID-19 has brought to the education circles of Korea will not be resolved anytime soon. We have to examine everything we used to take for granted, from the very basic level one after another. Our goal is to turn this challenges into opportunities for innovation.



Category: Korea

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