المدونة

Corona… and Distance Education

[ April 14, 2020 ]

Written by Randa Abdul-Ilah Mikati

I am not a specialist in the world of microbes, nor in the depth of the analyzes that are taking place in the world about corona, although there are scientists who expect that the corona crisis will be prolonged, and some of them expect that it will recede and then renew, and among them…. . What I will discuss in this article is what the Corona crisis imposed on education, from the forced closure of schools, institutes, universities and training courses, and replacing all of that with distance education.

During the civil movement that began on October 17 of last year in Lebanon, I was a supporter of distance education because of the intermittent closure of schools and universities imposed by this movement, so as not to waste days and weeks of classroom education for our students.

This type of distance education has taken its way, not only in Lebanon, but also in the whole world, due to the current Corona crisis. Since this education is compulsory today, I see its importance and its advantages, after the compelling reasons recede, and a certain percentage of educational materials remain in the secondary stage in schools and institutes, and in universities. Undoubtedly, there are downsides that everyone should address.

Disadvantages:

Our students are not yet accustomed to this type of education, and although the current period we are in is not sufficient for scientific assessment, the disdain of students in the primary and intermediate stages has caused the difficulty of achieving scientific goals compared to direct education in school classes.

Failure to meet Internet specifications prevented clarity in sound and image sometimes as it should, especially in some areas, even in some of these areas, sharing on the Internet was impossible, knowing that communication over 3G is relatively expensive in Lebanon.

The lack of electronic means such as laptops and smart phones in some families who are not well-off.

Failure to achieve the necessary ratio of interaction between the teacher and his students – especially in the stages we mentioned – as in modern smart education methodologies, to achieve the largest participation rate and attract the attention of all students. The lecturer should present the scientific material in an attractive and clear way than the classroom teaching.

The quarantine in the homes imposed by the Corona crisis, deprived the children of direct social contact with their companions, and replaced it with virtual communication limited in its positive impact on their vitality and youthful energies.

Resolving these negatives can only be achieved by highlighting them, working on the development of the electronic communication system, and vigorous follow-up by the school administration by qualifying the educational staff to produce interactive electronic scientific content, as well as training them to use various advanced electronic programs in this field, and urging parents to follow up their children to abide by the seriousness of this system. Education (distance) to achieve the highest possible percentage of the desired goals.

Advantages:

Distance education fills an important gap in addressing the consequences of the prolonged forced closure imposed by exceptional circumstances.

This beneficial use of technology means makes the student more aware of the benefits of technology other than entertaining games, or for communication for the purpose of entertainment, and that these means allow him to access the world of knowledge wide open. This is what must be developed in the younger generations as much as possible.

Encouraging students to learn remotely qualifies them to take advantage of the training courses that interest them, each in his field and hobbies, and according to his scientific, intellectual and cultural levels, which are not offered in school programs, and are widely presented on the Internet.

The serious engagement of the student at school and university with this type of education makes him more likely to find a job opportunity, after graduating from university and working remotely. This is what has become common in the West, and it is growing very quickly, regardless of the Corona crisis. It will spread more after that. It allows the large companies in the world to attract scientific energies, with the specifications they require, from all over the world, and keep them in their country, at a lower cost.

This also opens the horizons for scientific energies that possess the spirit of entrepreneurship in work, part-time work with several international companies at the same time, and what this allows for the development of practical and technical experience, and the resulting business relations and good financial income.

I conclude by saying that, even after the end of the Corona crisis, it is of great importance to keep some subjects, which must be carefully selected, for distance education, in the secondary stage of school education and at the stage of university education, which allows the development of this skill among students, and encourages them to Carrying out some joint scientific research among them, and presenting it remotely, as this will be of great benefit to them in their practical future. It is also possible to allocate two days a month, for example, in which education is conducted according to the program remotely, so that the skills of teachers are developed and students are accustomed to obtaining the greatest possible benefit from these educational lessons. It is also possible to attract a lecturer on a specific subject from outside the country, and to allocate a specific time, even once a month, to give a remote lecture that helps enable students to interact with this education.

Published on Lebanon 24 on April 14, 2020

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