What’s it like being a student in the time of the coronavirus outbreak?

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COVID-19 is the name of the coronavirus that is currently spreading around the world in humans. As a reminder, coronaviruses are common in animals, but not in humans. Since humans haven’t often been exposed to this kind of a virus, our bodies do not have the necessary immune defense against this. Not everyone who has been infected by it is showing symptoms, and not everyone who has the symptoms is dying from it. However, since it is quite infectious, people who have been exposed to it or have been near people who have it, are being quarantined, or kept in isolation so that the virus can’t jump from them and infect someone else.

What does this mean for school-going students? Students were on break for Chinese New year in January when the news of this virus broke. The Chinese New Year holidays were extended to reduce the chance of spreading infection. In addition, those who had left the country for the break, are now unable to return to it. On February 17, 2020, the Chinese government indefinitely extended school holidays for the 180 million Chinese student as the virus has not been contained and is still spreading.

So how are kids going to learn? The Chinese government has launched a cloud learning platform and is encouraging students all the way from primary school to college, to take advantage of the lessons it has on the cloud. Primary school lessons are also being broadcast on one of the government run TV channels.

The Chinese mobile and data companies like Huawei, China Telecom and Alibaba will be providing all the extra bandwidth that is required to run these classes online.

Wow! So is it only educational institutions in China that are turning to technology for education? No, travel has been reducing in a lot of places, and Universities have students coming to them from all over the world. Many of them are looking at improving their online offering to make it easier for students to learn in a safe environment.


Written by: Sunaina Murthy

 

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