The diagnoses we receive every day have forced us all to conclude that the educational body needs to work much harder on its defense system and that it will take a long time to cure the insidious disease, whose comorbidities we have somehow, for decades, all concealed.
Education systems around the world have always been the cause of analysis, discussions, reforms, conflicts, ridicule, fear, uncertainty…
And every year, education systems in many countries are disrupted by the natural dangers associated with climate change, armed conflict, political propaganda, or, at worst, epidemics.
So, when the Covid 19 pandemic happened to us, we were, and I think we still are, in a spasm about how the educational process would move ahead in such conditions.
And it has caught us off guard like a bolt from the blue… it still does, unfortunately.
Now, we will surely ask ourselves whether the rate of success or failure in education should have tested our antibodies from Covid 19? The pandemic, of course, made us check whether our education system is immune and whether it knows how to defend itself. However, the diagnoses we receive every day have forced us all to conclude that the educational body needs to work much harder on its defense system and that it will take a long time to cure the insidious disease whose comorbidities we have somehow, for decades, all concealed.
I was, am and will be a proponent of technology in the classroom, combined with the creativity and freedom of the teacher. I think that ignoring the educational opportunities provided by technology puts children at a disadvantage and therefore we should not have ignored or opposed it. Many will say that the culture of living in front of a computer screen as a whole makes jobs (for teachers) difficult. But, have we chosen the right path to make our workplace easier through technology, and not used it as an ally? Here, the pandemic showed us and taught us that anything is possible, so I hope we will learn the next lesson the easier way. But if we constantly oppose the changes and if the activity of the education system completely weakens and its immunity decreases, then unfortunately it will have an impact on our entire society. An education system is needed that, in the future, would be immune to all factors that could negatively affect it. Well then, let’s vaccinate the education system so that it is subject to immunity!
And we, the teachers, need to remind ourselves why we are teachers, to stop for a while and make a restart. The children now need us in a different way, to show them what empathy and patience mean. Now they need a teacher who will help them feel safe, at a time when they are in an unsafe space over which all sorts of dangers fly. Maybe, we will use this opportunity to restructure the educational activities, so that we could create subjects who are capable of critical thinking and who would develop humanistic value systems, and thus fairer worlds?
And in the 21st century, and in a time of globalization, when the world is changing dramatically, it may be better to follow the needs of children a little more closely, because if they move forward and we stand still, then we are certainly on the path to failure.
Sandra Grujevska, she has a Master’s degree in International Relations. She is a Professor of English and founder of the school of foreign languages Step by step. At the moment, she is working at the University American College Skopje, as a career counselor