The Prime Minister’s call to resume education across the country is one that we need to get behind, albeit only after making some foundational changes to the way we look at learning. The effects that the pandemic has had on education in this last academic year will undoubtedly have an influence on students, but how coronavirus impacts schools and curriculum in the next year and after greatly depends on how we react to the ‘new normal’.

Humanity has learnt that there are ways to be productive without being physically present in a given environment, and education is no different. Mandatory attendance and full classrooms in schools is a practice that does not necessarily serve the purpose of imparting education, as evidenced by classrooms shifting to the digital world all over the world. Here at home, quite naturally there have been more issues of access, but this is not to say that online learning is not effective, if every student in question were to have access to technology.

There are other proposals that have surfaced ever since lockdowns have disrupted everyday life. A greater focus on home-based assignments and verbal examinations – which are practiced all over the world all the way up to university – can go a long way in decreasing the number of students gathered together at a point in time. Staggered attendances – where teachers can have classes scheduled in a way where fewer students are taught simultaneously, is another potential solution.

The past six months have been highly unnerving, but they have also brought a plethora of lessons with them. Being flexible and adapting to any given situation is perhaps the most important takeaway from the pandemic. Nothing is permanent, and if the modern education system needs some tinkering in order to stand the test of the pandemic, then so be it.