The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted teachers in multiple ways, especially in India, where the crisis brought massive changes to the education system and entirely changed the working environment. The pandemic changed the teaching methodology, with teachers resorting to online classes for the first time in their careers.
The virtual teaching itself brought a number of challenges like difficulty in learning new methodology, reaching students belonging to remote areas or those with no access to the latest devices, teaching numerical subjects, fear of losing jobs, etc. But despite all these factors, most of the teachers are ready to face even more significant hurdles in future to make learning feasible for their students.
Teachers Positive About Careers
According to a new study, most of the Indian teachers are very optimistic about their careers post-pandemic, have upskilled, shown resilience, and are keen to continue impacting education to kids.
T4 Education, a worldwide organisation offering tools and initiatives for teachers to improve education, was launched to analyse the effect of COVID-19 on the education system and weigh up the future of technology in the sector, NDTV reported.
The findings of the major global study on the use of technology to improve teaching outcomes covered 20,679 teachers across 165 countries. The survey was released in London recently as one of the largest of its kind to see how COVID-induced restrictions affected educational inequality.
"Overall, Indian teachers appear very positive about their careers post-pandemic, which is a piece of good news for the future of education. Teachers have upskilled, shown resilience and are in the main keen to continue in their teaching," as per the findings.
COVID-19 Experience Made Teachers Better
"Ninety per cent among them are of the opinion that the COVID-19 experience has made them a better teacher, 59 per cent are more enthusiastic about teaching whereas 16 per cent are less enthusiastic," the findings stated.
On asking what the educational institutions' strategy should be post-pandemic to help students catch up, the teachers came up with solutions, including helping students understand how they can learn in better ways and develop independent strategies, besides introducing more playful methods to reduce stress.
"The past one-and-a-half year has been an incredible journey for teachers globally. This unique report documents worldwide how teachers have heroically responded to the global education crisis being driven by the ensuing pandemic," said Vikas Pota, Founder of T4 Education, as per NDTV.
"This report is unique and remarkable as it shows us the viewpoint from those people who have been on the frontline imparting education. We see staggering ingenuity, innovation, creativity, and collaboration amongst teaching peers in every nation. The results of which are not only for the welfare of millions of kids and whole communities worldwide but also the profession," he added.
The findings revealed that being unable to access to internet facilities was the most crucial factor behind learning loss during the COVID crisis.
"This is a basic point, the digital divide is now the No. 1 education inequality overtaking other long-standing issues. This has great implications for education systems that need to consider how they equip schools/teachers with the core infrastructure for online learning but also training and support to integrate into pedagogy effectively," the report states.
Huge Professional Development
The report found that teachers in India undertook a large amount of professional development, which is more than the worldwide average, with 51 per cent taking more than ten days in total across the last one year, compared to a 42 per cent worldwide average.
"Teachers have risen admirably to this enormous challenge, working for long hours tirelessly to upskill quickly and take on board ways of teaching that were unfamiliar in many ways, including countries at all income levels," said Dr Sara Hennessy, Reader in Teacher Development and Pedagogical Innovation at the University of Cambridge and Research Director at EdTech Hub.
Among some of the other global findings, the use of digital tools for assessment emerged as surprisingly low, with 27 per cent saying they used technology for assessments daily, 29 per cent weekly, and 20 per cent once or twice a month.
Maths teachers were continuously the least likely among teachers of all curriculum subject areas to use a variety of digital tools for imparting education and learning.