It’s been a year and a half into the age of Corona, and schooling has been restricted, limited, and changed in many ways since the pre-Covid age. From the perspective of the education system, Covid-19 has done more harm than good: Children are more prone to depression, social isolation, regression in academic achievements, as well as increased chances of dropping out from school. Yet, in my view, the problem is not with Covid, but with the educators who didn’t seize the moment to reform the obsolete schooling system. They tried to “copy-paste” a failing physical platform into a virtual platform instead of capitalizing on the benefits of the online arena.
Children and young adults are much more adept when it comes to utilizing online tools such as search engines and online encyclopedias or other sites that provide accessible and free information. Schooling, therefore, must be adapted to the new reality, and should take up much less of the time than was required during the pre-Covid era. Instead of forcing the old teaching methods on the new reality, educators should dedicate the abundant time that has been freed thanks to the availability of information to the one thing that people really need to learn today: how to conduct positive relationships.
Depression rates and aggression are skyrocketing not because people don’t know enough about American history or because of their math skills. They’re depressed because they cannot communicate with people in meaningful and positive ways. When they can’t find trustworthy people, they feel alone and hopeless. Since the problem is national, it should be treated through the education system, and authorities must appoint special educators to teach people how to interact, how to develop care for one another.
In the global era, we are all connected. When we behave to the contrary, as we do today, we harm ourselves and others. To address the problem, educators should work on both the informative level and the emotional level. People should learn about the interconnected nature of today’s reality, how the acts of one person impact the lives of everyone else, even when we don’t immediately sense it. At the same time, educators should cultivate attitudes of mutual responsibility among children and youth, as well as among grownups. The two levels, informative and emotional, will complement each other and create a new bedrock on which to build a society of happy people, who feel connected, appreciated, and confident in their environment.
The post Covid world will not revert back to the competitive and callous mentality that characterized the world before the outbreak. To reap the maximum benefits from the transformation that human society is going through, we must educate ourselves about it and practice living by its new social codes of mutual responsibility and concern for everyone. The sooner we start, the better.