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How Educational Institutes Should Respond In This Time Of Coronavirus

With the coronavirus spreading rapidly across continents, countries have taken swift actions to mitigate the development of a full-blown pandemic.

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The novel Coronavirus outbreak has had far-reaching consequences beyond the spread of the disease and the evolution continues. Sending a wave of fear and anxiety across the globe, the COVID-19 continues to cause a wide range of disruptions in various sectors. The outbreak has led to lockdown in many countries with some preparing to follow the suit, leading to a significant fall in economic activity.

Among others, the education sector is one of the hardest-hit sectors. It has led to the cancellation of exams, temporary closure of schools and universities, disturbing the curriculum at large. In fact, in the higher education sector, it is even posing a threat to the career prospect of students.

With the coronavirus spreading rapidly across continents, countries have taken swift actions to mitigate the development of a full-blown pandemic. OECD, on March 13, estimated that over 421 million children are affected due to school closures in 39 countries. In addition, another 22 countries have announced partial "localized" closures.

Changing the Face of Education

In a matter of days, pandemic disease has changed how students are educated around the world. The control measures have pushed millions of students into temporary ‘home-schooling’ situations. Ed-tech companies are jumping in to make the most of the situation, offering free access to their courses. Schools and colleges have temporarily shifted to a digital mode of education in a move to curb the coronavirus impact on learning. These changes have certainly caused a degree of inconvenience, but they are acting as a savior in a situation the world is witnessing.

However, lack of access to internet-connected devices, fast and reliable internet connection can prevent students in rural areas and from disadvantaged families from compensating the education loss they are bearing. School closures worldwide are negatively impacting student learning outcomes.

Theory vs Practice Focussed Institutes

The education institutions with a major part of the curriculum revolving around theory don’t face many challenges in moving to the online mode of education, though the challenges of efficiency and productivity exist. However, there is one branch of the education industry that is facing immeasurable tough times. It includes the institutes and colleges who majorly revolve around imparting practical knowledge, for instance, bakery and culinary.

Academy of Culinary and Pastry Arts (ACPA) is the only institute in the country which imparts 90% hands-on training to the students. With coronavirus spreading at an unprecedented pace, the institute is left with no option than to shut down all the centers.

The chefs across all centers are in continuous touch with students over audio/video calls and messages whereby students send pictures of their dishes and take the guidance of chefs, whenever required. Though there is regular monitoring and measures in place to ensure that students practice dishes at home, it cannot match training imparted on campus. No matter, how many efforts are put in place, for an institute like ACPA which is majorly focussed on practice-based learning, the times are tough.”

The academy is doing its best to not let the current situation harm the learning of its students. We hope the situation returns to normalcy soon.

Summing it All Up

Educational institutes and students around the world are feeling the extraordinary ripple effect of the novel COVID-19 as schools and colleges shut down amid the public health emergency. While medical professionals scramble to curb the multiple outbreaks, education systems continue to find better ways to compensate for the loss incurring to students.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Major Dinesh Sharma

Co-founder of The Academy of Pastry & Culinary Arts.

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