Let’s divide school education into two eras- Pre-COVID and Post-COVID times. Before the pandemic, the K12 Education systems worldwide were not a stark change from how they were conducted in the 20th or even 19th centuries. The use of technology was a mere tool for smoothening administrative tasks. A smartphone was a distraction for students. The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything upside down. Digital schooling was the logical way to continue learning for children during the pandemic.
However, countries like India, where a large number of people have limited opportunities to access information and communication technologies (ICTs), have a widening inequality between the digital haves and have-nots. A study by the Azim Premji Foundation showed that almost 60 per cent of school children in India cannot access online learning opportunities. Among the students who had internet access, only a few could access live classes. Undoubtedly, technology is a formidable tool for augmenting learning methodologies. Yet, we should be increasingly concerned that a shift to remote online learning will exacerbate inequalities.
To understand more about looming concern over the changes in education post-pandemic, we have come up with a special issue that features expert insights and ideas from teachers, industry leaders and academic administrators. To calibrate and adjust to the new learning methods after the pandemic, students will need tailored and sustained support. We hope our efforts to collate the latest information on K12 Education will help schools prepare to provide that support and meet the enormous challenges of the months ahead.