The year 2020 marked the beginning of something which can be referred to as a new era. Covid-19 has challenged the very existence of humanity. It has shaken the foundations of all social, economic and educational stereotypes to their very core. As a consequence of which, all such activities have come to an unexpected halt which is not likely to get better anytime soon.
According to UNESCO, the measures taken to contain the pandemic has lead to the near-total closures of various educational institutions severely damaging student's learning.
Need for sustainability amid Covid-19
As mentioned earlier, Covid-19 has challenged all our conventional practices and we are in dire need of a more sustainable model of human society. It has elicited the essentiality of a symbiotic relationship with nature as a drop in the emissions of greenhouse gases has greatly improved the quality of air we breathe in.
According to our experts, post Covid-19 era will be fundamentally different from pre-covid era in terms of various day to day activities. This itself backs up the necessity of non conventional methods of existence of human society.
Role of stakeholders
The stakeholders in the sector of education have a pivotal role to play in bringing about this transformation. They must necessarily recognize this on-going crisis as an opportunity to induce certain major revisions in the field of education which are more eco-friendly in nature.
In order for our ways of learning to be more efficient and steady, they should be unquestionably sensitive enough when it comes to environment. Students should be made aware of the environmental challenges we face today so that necessary adaptations can be made to brighten the future of upcoming generations in the years to come.
The UN has already taken a step to achieve Sustainable Development Goals through education. In addition to encouraging education for sustainable development, this model will also help in analysing the challenges faced in terms of access to basic education. This will in turn acknowledge the gaps and help in understanding the measures that can be taken in order to bridge those gaps.
Perceptive thinking and systematic ways of learning could play a definitive and revolutionary role in facing the environmental challenges faced by our planet today.
Eco-friendly measures to ensure sustainable education
With the advent of this pandemic, the way the human society works has underwent a paradigm shift. This has made us more adaptive to change and less opinionated. As a significant consequence of which, we have been able to respond to critical situations quickly and to our true potentials.
Sustainable Learning necessarily focusses on education which is more remote and digital in order to benefit human health and well being as well as avert damages likely to occur to the environment. E-learning and extensive use of internet are the best examples in this regard.
The learning material can be provided to the students through various digital platforms. They must also be encouraged for environmental friendly practices such as minimized use of paper and its recycle whenever and wherever possible. Also, avoidance of plastics and other non eco friendly materials.
However, we cannot disregard classroom model of education all of a sudden. So, while carrying out such fundamental changes, measures can be taken to reopen schools gradually by maintaining a weekly schedule for students subject wise such that they don't operate on full strength at any given time. This will help in steady maintenance of education in these times of crisis. The idea here is for e-learning through digital platforms and the conventional class room model of education to go hand in hand.
Therefore, it is quite clear that we can only get through these critical times by logical and non-conventional thinking. It is time for us to give some serious thought to the concept adaptability and that of sustainable learning in order to ensure steady growth of human society