Some implications of COVID‐19 for remote learning and the future of schooling

Author(s): Hughes, Conrad

Organisation(s): UNESCO International Bureau of Education

Publisher(s): UNESCO International Bureau of Education

Date: 2020

Pages: 17 p.


This article considers some of the immediate and future ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the world of schooling. It reflects on the arguments for and against school closures and the immediate and longer term impact on students, particularly those who are already disadvantaged by poverty, gender, infrastructural and resource limitations that, undoubtedly, will further widen the digital divide. The article goes on to draw out some of the educational issues precipitated by the rapid shift towards remote learning for students, teachers and parents lucky enough to be on the other side of the digital divide, including: lack of preparation; inequality of access; information overload; some of the challenges of remote teaching, learning and assessment; and in particular, the need to address issues of mental health. The article concludes by reflecting on some of the lessons that might be learned from this period of crisis for the world of schooling, including the need to address issues of access and functionality, teacher skills, student competences, the sharing of resources and global collaboration to educate for a better world.

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