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Quality Higher Education In Times Of Crisis
Suffering caused by the COVID-19 can be seen everywhere. And the education system is no exception...

by Himani Verma / 18 Oct 2021 13:32 PM IST / 0 Comment(s) / 71

Suffering caused by the COVID-19 can be seen everywhere. And the education system is no exception. And still, higher education is suffering from this pandemic crisis. In some parts of the globe, the problem is as acute as ever. It is seen that Europe has been worse but as the time goes on over the past months. But not only Europe but many other places face difficulties beyond belief while coping with the health crisis.

Also, at the same time, this pandemic taught us a very important lesson that we are not ready for any crisis, and we need to prepare for the next problem before it happens. No one knows when the next pandemic will break down or what kind of emergency it will create. However, we know that it’s our utmost priority to ensure the right to quality education for students in times of crisis.

So, now the concern arises, “How can we make sure that education is of high quality?” and “How can we ensure the right to education for all?”.

The most frequent word that now pops up in almost every public debate is “quality.” The word Quantity is not only used frequently, but it is also vague. If we want to get positive results, then before doing anything, we must know what we are trying to achieve in the first place. We cannot judge a person by the quality criteria meant for vegetables.

Inclusive Education

Almost every one of us thinks that the more exclusive the university is, the better it is. However, Quality education must be inclusive instead of exclusive. If any education system leaves its students by the wayside, then it cannot be considered a high-quality system. The education system can be of high quality if it offers every student opportunities according to their abilities and aspirations. Quality education cannot be a human right unless everyone can access it fairly and equally.

Aspiration is an important point as some students come from an environment where their aspirations are not developed. They might have great potential, but due to their social environment, they are not developed. The value of university rankings, perhaps a comment, seems to measure the real quality of education.

Blended Learning

Each of us lives through a health crisis that challenges the brief that quality education must be inclusive. Most of the Staff, Students, Education Institutions and Public authorities ’ responses towards the COVID crisis are impressive. The movement of education from offline to online was quick. Thus classes were not discontinued but only interrupted.

This emergency response was massive, but it was just an emergency response. This way of learning cannot stay online forever. Future’s quality Universities will integrate different modes of learning and teaching, including online and face-to-face courses.

‘How can we ensure the right to education in times of crisis?’- this question has been raised due to the COVID crisis.

So, to ensure this, institutions and education systems must fulfill all the important purposes of education, that is –

  • Personal development.

  • Preparation for sustainable employment.

  • In democratic societies, preparation for life as active citizens.

  • Development and maintenance of a broad and advanced knowledge base.

Refugee Qualifications

Refugee’s students will feel demotivated and frustrated if they are condemned to inactivity resulting in losing eventually the qualification they had. But if they are offered the opportunity to develop and use their capabilities, they will surely be motivated. Also, they will help their host country in development.

Like Europe has prepared to receive refugees from Afghanistan, it is very important to have the above-mentioned practical implementation to make the difference between a virtuous and vicious circle.

Academic Freedom

The other issue is directly linked to human rights and democracy. Institutional autonomy and Academic freedom are essential to the quality of higher research and education.

Institutional autonomy and academic freedom are necessary to the quality of higher education and research. They are also important factors of democracy.

Everyone needed to explore ways to ensure the human right to quality education in normal and emergency conditions. For this, both political courage and education is required.

To answer the question, Eugenio Tironi, the Chilean sociologist, had said, “What kind of education do we need?’ We must first answer the question, “What kind of society do we want to live in?”. Whether we want the next generation, our children and grandchildren, to enjoy quality education as a human right, that requires that we do not take anything for granted.

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