Karim Khayat: How Did a Pandemic Change the way we Teach?

Karim Khayat: How Did a Pandemic Change the way we Teach?

Led by CEO Karim Khayat, Seeds Education provides award-winning academic and educational materials, bespoke digital publishing and print services, and client-customised professional development and training programmes for educators.

Benefiting from Karim Khayat’s extensive knowledge and experience of the sector, Seeds Education strives to keep ahead of the latest developments and innovations in education and academia, remaining ready to support education systems with unanticipated changes in requirements. Based on research shared by EFT and We Forum, this article will look at the different ways that the pandemic triggered change in the education system.

The pandemic forced educators to implement rapid change on an unprecedented scale as lockdowns and school closures triggered a sudden switch to online learning. Countries that had already begun investing in blended and online education were better equipped to cope with this sudden shift off-campus, according to the European Training Foundation’s Julian Stanley.

As expert in teaching and teacher training Mr Stanley indicated, teaching organisations had to address issues such as teacher welfare and how to conduct distance teacher training through different approaches and practices – for example via webinars.

In the Western Balkans, educators are staging a pilot project to develop a methodology to accurately map training needs. The pandemic clearly demonstrated that the old model of teacher training is inadequate in terms of keeping up with current needs, with a pressing requirement for teachers to learn entirely new skills. It is not all bad news, however. The pandemic demonstrated the flexibility and resilience of teachers. Providing teachers with the right support is crucial not just for their own training but to increase their capacity to support each other.

Education experts suggest that the future of teaching is likely to be much more flexible and blended than before the pandemic. Going forward, while practical skills are still likely to be taught face-to-face wherever possible, video-based practical training or theory is likely to play an increasingly prominent role. Today’s teachers need a completely new skills set, enabling them to deliver education in a completely new way. The good news is that, during the pandemic, many teachers rose to the challenge of mastering new technologies and the accompanying pedagogy, often at lightning speed, in order to prevent learning gaps among students.

According to recent research shared by the World Economic Forum, being away from the classroom for an extended period of time can have a direct impact on a student’s future earning capacity. Once study suggests that worldwide learning losses from four months of school closures during the pandemic could amount to somewhere in the region of $10 trillion in lost earnings, with 50 days of in-person lessons lost to school closures on average. Although the research reveals that, in virtually all grades, most students made learning gains in both maths and reading since the start of the pandemic, gains tended to be smaller depending on the subject.

A survey jointly undertaken by World Bank, UNICEF and UNESCO involving 149 ministries of education revealed that virtually every country introduced additional support programmes to try to close learning gaps and remedy learning loss as schools reopened. Many countries relied on remote learning during the pandemic, using a combination of digital platforms, take-home packages, and TV and radio programmes to ensure learning continuity. For example, Uruguay used its national online learning platform to broadcast live remote teaching programmes. Meanwhile, Mexico also leveraged its educational television programming, combining lesson plans with short educational videos.

Having now adopted hybrid approaches, education experts predict that many countries will use a mix of remote and in-person learning going forwards, with education seamlessly combining online and offline learning content.

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