News about a deadly virus that appeared in Wuhan, China in December (now called 2019 novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV) has gained a lot of attention recently. And as the number of cases is rising, it is quite natural to get stressed about preventing oneself from getting infected with this deathly virus. The widespread rollout of Coronavirus has affected all the age groups. From the industrial sector to the education sector, everything has come to a halt. In fact, to combat such rapid proliferation, schools and colleges in not just China, but also in a lot of South Asian countries have been shut down. Here, we will give you the latest information on how schools and colleges are dealing with the outbreak of Coronavirus that is affecting students around the world.
How severe is the situation on Coronavirus globally?
As of 11th February 2020; there have been nearly 15,000 confirmed cases and 1000 confirmed deaths attributed to 2019-nCoV, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 99% of the evidence and all of the deaths have been in China. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 26 countries have so far reported such cases. Nearly all of those with confirmed cases either live in China or had travelled from China to other places. There were 6 cases in the US in 4 states, i.e. Arizona, California, Illinois and Washington. Another 160 people in 36 states are being evaluated for suspected infection with this coronavirus disease.
Coronavirus or “Wuhan virus” in China affecting students from across the globe:
Entire Southeast Asia is facing the deadly coronavirus disease and students are profoundly affected. As the majority of schools in China had postponed their first term, many students had taken the opportunity to return home to celebrate the New Year. Many colleges and institutions have delayed the start of their spring-semester classes, which will be taught remotely using online learning. Several universities that conduct programs in China have suspended and students are trying to reach online schooling for their further studies.
Coronavirus evacuees arrive in Singapore from China:
In Singapore; assemblies, camps, mass celebrations and other large group and communal activities have been suspended from Wednesday, February 5th onwards after the first local transmission of the Coronavirus was reported on Tuesday, February 4th. Recess times in schools will also be spread out, although co-curricular activities and after-school programs may continue in smaller groups. Parents are opting for homeschooling so that their children can study from home. Some schools are open, but regular health check-ups, temperature screening for all children, staff and visitors will continue to be done.
How is Sydney affected?
Now in Sydney, several private schools have banned students, who had recently visited China, from returning to school without medical certificates, as concerns grow about the spread of Coronavirus. A petition on change.org calling for NSW (New South Wales) school students to be kept home for two weeks after returning from China has received more than 12,000 signatures in 24 hours.
Coronavirus affecting students in New Zealand
The country’s schools have been put into chaos after the government’s sudden banning of foreign nationals returning to New Zealand from China. Not only did the ban affect students coming in, but also a previously planned school exchange trip involving 30 students to their sister school in Guangzhou city has been postponed.
Is there an alternative to attain education in such a situation?
The magnitude with which Coronavirus has hit the entire South-East Asian region and a few other regions across the world has made us ponder over the implications in the near future. The young learners have been impacted as their studies are interrupted. As aforementioned, many schools and colleges have been shut down. Therefore, many schools, universities and colleges across the globe are extending support by delivering courses online. This way students can continue with their studies without being stressed about attending school physically.
The spread of the Coronavirus over the Lunar New Year holiday has meant the postponement of the school and college semesters forcing students to stay at home and take online schooling. Rather than falling behind, many students have already begun learning full-time online courses from homeschooling education. China is now exploring online education options as school and college authorities have postponed the new semester of this year. Students can learn new skills through online education, such as speaking naturally in front of a camera or using a digital pen during PowerPoint presentations.
International Schooling is one of the popular and affordable options for continuing one’s school education.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), China’s Ministry of Education issued a statement last Thursday, February 6th, encouraging students to study from homeschooling platform as an alternative way of learning amid the suspension of the new semester. There are also plans to launch a national internet cloud classroom providing a full range of study materials and courses for students of all grades. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and State Media Xinhua, in China as of Sunday, February 9th, more than 230 education bureaus in 20 Chinese provinces had joined homeschooling program, covering 20,000 primary and secondary schools and 12 million students.
Exactly how long it will take for the virus to eliminate is unknown as there are currently no vaccines that protect us against it. Coronavirus is severely affecting students but we hope to get their studies back on track through online learning.