Academia in English

COVID-19 and Online Learning Environment By Altaaf Ahmad

The entire world has witnessed an inevitable circumstance that has changed the structure and habits of the way people, industries, economies, and social behavior usually occurs. In these situations, is where the real test of how well systems run. Can one catastrophe hinder all forms of modern living? Will institutions come to a halt? These past months the world has witnessed such dilemmas and we saw how different countries took precautions in the safety and well being of its citizens as well as maintaining ways of life. The education system was one of which was put to test. How well qualified are our education systems and how can we cope with such disasters? What have we learned and how can we adapt? This paper will look at how some educational institutions in Kuwait have responded to switching to online learning in the times of the COVID – 19.
Due to the safety precautions and well being of the people, schools and all educational systems were advised to shut down. Some schools were ready for the change to come whilst others were not. One of the many risks in the quality control of educational systems is how to face a disaster such as COVID -19. What will happen to schools and educational systems if students were not able to attend? One fact was proven to all that the Ministry of Education in Kuwait was not prepared for such a catastrophe and had not planned any solutions for such a risk. Students were deprived of all forms of formal learning and online learning for eight months. All students, excluding graduating students which were dealt with differently, are now promised to have them learn online in the coming October 2020 which makes it ten months of no formal education. Other educational institutions such as the private school sectors showed readiness and had an online learning system ready within a week of when schools were out. Kuwait University and The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training were both able to prepare an online platform for students to complete their semester of 2019/2020 at the start of August 2020.
However, the question that will continue to linger is how well our institutions and mentality of the people are ready for such a change. We have many obstacles to face such as social background and the readiness or acceptability of online learning, integrity of the learning process both in the receiving end of the students and the delivering of the instructors. How reliable our students will be in online examination, an issue where honesty is more needed. In my opinion, I believe that people must acknowledge how grave the situation is all over the world and imagine what would happen if all things including health care would come to an end because people couldn’t adapt their way of lives and thinking. Only with such mentality and seriousness will we be able to continue with online learning and succeed at it in all educational systems.

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