The Severity of COVID 19 Pandemic on Schools Worldwide
COVID 19 pandemic has impacted society in several ways. The severity of the disease has forced schools, colleges and universities to shut their doors to the students. As per the graph that has been portrayed below, 57 countries shut the schools to prevent the wide spreading of disease. Australia is no exception to that as well. The country has seen certain setbacks in the education sector. More than 90 countries worldwide have decided on opening schools only with a bunch of rules.
Figure 1 Number of countries with closed schools worldwide in 2021, by status
However, the disease has changed how universities and schools started working initially. The traditional model of pen and paper studying has been partially replaced by online learning. This report discusses how the educational system of Australia has been affected by the advent of the COVID 19 pandemic. With this, certain literary works of fellow researchers shall be discussed in brief as well.
According to Scull et al., (2020), COVID 19 is one of the worst diseases that hit the world. the university sectors are some of the worst victims of the disease as well. Australian Universities were not prepared for the complete off-campus mode of learning and it was both hard for the students and the teachers of the organization to get used to the new normal. The researchers qualitatively discussed how innovation and technologies have helped in developing new methods for the improvement of the education sectors of the country. The research was conducted at the Monash University, Melbourne and there are certain insights that the researchers gathered. The research revealed that the usage of the tools and technologies has increased the participation and engagement of the students. The students are quite satisfied with the ways of learning (Flack et al. 2020). They can easily connect to their lecturer and understand their queries.
Interviews have been conducted by the researchers for gathering details on the research topic regarding the impact of the disease on the university education process. Indeed, the innovative technologies and other platforms like Skype, Zoom Cloud, Google Meet and others have played a major role in the development of the country’s education during the times of Covid 19. This has helped in increasing the participation and engagement of the students with the faculties which kept the process active and alive even in the gloomiest of atmospheres. One of the biggest strengths of conducting interviews is the fact that authentic answers can be obtained from the interviewee. As per the teachers of the Australian institutions, participation, support and engagement are the three major aspects which helped in enhancing the university’s work process during COVID 19 (O’Sullivan, Rahamathulla and Pawar 2020). This has helped the students to get their queries resolved, they actively participated in the teaching programs and helped in making the process a success. However, the only weakness of the chosen method for the data collection is that not many teachers from various universities could have been conducted. This can also lead to the fact that the other universities have different scenarios to address or can even face difficulties in adopting the usage of the technologies (Medcalf 2019). The graph below shows that people have lost their jobs and the Australian Education Sector is no exception to the same.
Advent of Online Learning in Australian Education System
This is an alarming situation as there are other sectors adjacent to the education sectors which are affected as well. But from the research, it is clear that students and teachers were most benefited from the introduction of innovative technologies in the education sector. this has increased the accessibility of the students to the coursework and the lectures. The teachers can record their classes and the students can access them later for getting better knowledge and understanding of the subject. The concept of access, Participation And Engagement has helped in improving the online learning processes within the organizations.
Figure 2 Potential change in the job sectors from March 2020 to 2021
According to Thatcher, et al. (2020), the Coronavirus has had a huge impact everywhere around the globe. Australia is no exception to that. The Australian education industry, mainly the Australian universities are one of the major sufferers of this pandemic. One of the major reasons for this is the significant reduction in the number of foreign students studying in Australia. This has been well described in the linear regression model that has been presented in this article. This model was published by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) of the Australian Government. It depicts the significant reduction in the number of foreign students who have enrolled in Australian universities.
The regression model implemented in this article has got several good strengths making it very helpful for the research. It is very helpful in predicting a future outcome which is essential in this project. It could give indications regarding the admission of foreign as well as regional students in the years to come. Trend forecasting is another feature of this regression model which would help it understand the trends in the education industry and accordingly help the management deal with any possible issues. One of the major weaknesses of the linear regression model is the fact that it always takes a linear approach which means that large datasets with complex data cannot be properly represented using linear regression (Maulud and Abdulazeez 2020).
This research article has revealed several implications for the policymakers and the decision-makers of the Australian universities and the overall Australian education industry. It implies that there is a need for the diversification of the revenues to decrease the chances of the Australian universities getting exposed to new risks and threats associated with the coronavirus pandemic (Page et al. 2021). The research model revealed the impacts on the total Australian university revenue, full-time employment positions and enrolment of international students. The research is very relevant and aimed toward the provision of measurable constraints to reveal the pressure points and uncertainties in the Australian education industry due to the coronavirus. It suggests the creation of a new model for the industry where there is significantly less dependency on foreign students for driving the Australian education industry (Kang 2021).
Croucher and Locke (2020), mentioned in their research that the post coronavirus, the world shall be affected as well. Higher education in Australia has been affected by the advent of the Covid 19 pandemic and universities have to take up certain steps and processes for keeping the system on. One of the major instances, in this case, is the use of the information and communication technologies for facilitating learning from remote locations, which have helped the students to gather knowledge and understanding of the coursework. However, this is capable of having a long impact over the lifetime of education. Some of them include reducing the capacity and preference of students for perusing international education, growth in the acceptance of students in online studies and more. All of these can have a major impact on the overall learning process in Australia.
The Role of Innovative Technologies in Developing New Methods of Learning
Here, the concept of higher education in the crisis environment in Australia has been discussed with the help of the concepts of innovation and technology usage. Although the information has been gathered and analysis has been performed, projecting how the post covid situation can have an impact on the higher education, again the research is done based on the understanding of the Melbourne University. The other university may vary in their opinions as well.
From the findings of the research, it can be said that the current normal, that is usage of the online mode of studying shall become one of the most suitable alternatives for the students and remote learning shall become one of the core aspects of the universities. This can be beneficial, but the country may have to focus on implementing new rules and regulations for improving its practices and security measures of the country (Chan, Logan and Bennett Moses 2022). Information security systems may have to be improvised for better security of the data (Weil and Murugesan 2020).
After the completion of this research, certain conclusions can be drawn. Firstly, Covid 19 is one of the most critical issues which the world has faced lately. With the events of locked down, home quarantine, restrictions and limitations, universities could barely function properly (Feyisa 2020). The university students were forced to take up classes online as they were not allowed to come down to their universities. Research has been conducted which has led to the understanding that the Australian education sector has been badly affected due to this. Both the students and teachers were the sufferers. However, several people found this transition from the pen and paper mode to the online mode effective, some of the people did face issues in getting accustomed to the usage of technologies. But according to the authors, this new normal is going to stay even if the pandemic ends and life comes to normal as before. All these sum up to the fact that although the education sector is affected, the usage of technologies with effective planning and leadership has helped in combating the system.
Chan, J., Logan, S. and Bennett Moses, L., 2022. Rules in information sharing for security. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 22(2), pp.304-322.
Croucher, G. and Locke, W., 2020. A post-coronavirus pandemic world: Some possible trends and their implications for Australian higher education. Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education: The University of Melbourne.
Feyisa, H.L., 2020. The World Economy at COVID-19 quarantine: contemporary review. International Journal of Economics, Finance and Management Sciences, 8(2), pp.63-74.
Flack, C.B., Walker, L., Bickerstaff, A., Earle, H. and Margetts, C., 2020. Educator perspectives on the impact of COVID-19 on teaching and learning in Australia and New Zealand. Pivot Professional Learning.
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Kang, B., 2021. How the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the education service. The Future of Service Post-COVID-19 Pandemic, Volume 1, pp.15-36.
Medcalf, R., 2019. Australia and China: Understanding the reality check. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 73(2), pp.109-118.
O’Sullivan, D., Rahamathulla, M. and Pawar, M., 2020. The impact and implications of COVID-19: An Australian perspective. The International Journal of Community and Social Development, 2(2), pp.134-151.
Page, A., Charteris, J., Anderson, J. and Boyle, C., 2021. Fostering school connectedness online for students with diverse learning needs: inclusive education in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 36(1), pp.142-156.
Scull, J., Phillips, M., Sharma, U. and Garnier, K., 2020. Innovations in teacher education at the time of COVID19: an Australian perspective. Journal of Education for Teaching, 46(4), pp.497-506.
Thatcher, A., Zhang, M., Todoroski, H., Chau, A., Wang, J. and Liang, G., 2020. Predicting the impact of COVID-19 on Australian universities. Journal of risk and financial management, 13(9), p.188.
Weil, T. and Murugesan, S., 2020. IT risk and resilience—Cybersecurity response to COVID-19. IT professional, 22(3), pp.4-10.
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