Let's reimagine education after COVID-19

Our country's future economy depends on our children's education now.

Over the past 9 months, COVID-19 has taken the world by storm. From 1 confirmed case on the 5th of March in South Africa, to 682 215 confirmed cases on the 5th of October, we’ve lived through a time that we didn’t see coming. But along with the pandemic, a lot of issues came to light that have allowed us to learn and grow towards creating a world that can adapt to these challenges and others that may present themselves.

Education is a crucial part of any functioning economy. For us to reach a sustainable, unified world, we must start with educating our people. COVID-19 has put pressure on world leaders to rethink the way we did education before. The topic of adapting education to fit an ever developing world has been brought up many times in my discussions with other young people in Model UN and other conferences. In a way, young people saw this much needed shift coming, just not this soon. It’s time it became a main topic of discussion in parliament and within every department of education all over the world. 

Through the pandemic, we have seen the need for countries to reimagine the education system in a way that adapts to the 4th industrial revolution. In my blog “the education system is moving us backwards”, I spoke about our outdated school system and how it hasn’t been able to adapt to an ever changing world. This pandemic has shown us just how important that is. Remote learning has the ability to make education more accessible, however, since there hasn’t been any effort to integrate remote learning into schools, many students and educational institutions find themselves struggling to create a conducive and effective learning environment. 

However, I think this may be the perfect time for schools to listen to their students and find ways to improve their online learning facilities. Even after the pandemic passes, remote learning could be a valuable tool to making education accessible and flexible. For us to continue with an education system that is outdated would be doing a disservice to students around the world. We have seen the need to adapt now more than ever. By using the internet to our advantage, we can integrate it in a way that allows students everywhere to have their much awaited right to education. 

Eventually, we are going to need to redesign the education system. Why don't we start working on it now? Online learning courses have made education more accessible too! Websites like Coursera have allowed anyone to gain knowledge on topics that interest them. This concept can be applied with local university courses that allow people to enrol online, thus allowing for a flexible learning environment that only moves us towards a more skilled and educated population. By finding ways to make data more affordable and the internet more accessible through community libraries, we can take the necessary steps to adapting to this ever-changing world.

South Africa