By: Jokhio Jasarat Ilyas Sindhi
Morbidity as well as mortality ratio is on top in history during the popular pandemic either bacterial or viral or microbial; has lost given the danger of greater deaths ever in the anthropological chronology of the world. Hence, globally pandemic has affected the world a lot and there is strict lock downing and closure of educational institutions in most of the countries of the world since the beginning of its outbreak till outreach and epidemic.
From etymology, if we look in the dictionaries, it is evident that ‘Covid-19’ stands for “CO” stands for corona, “VI” for virus, and “D” for disease and as it was discovered in December 2019 so called as “Covid-19” (Oxford Dictionary; 2020). As we know that the pandemic situation started from Wuhan, a city of China and spread rapidly throughout the world. It has affected many peoples in the world resulting in many countries having to move towards lockdown to control this virus spreading and death rate. It has had major effects on each country’s economy and has closed all economic zones and every physical movement of peoples. Its major impact fell on the education system of the primary, secondary, and higher secondary school that had to be closed even universities were also closed to control the spreading of covid-19 in students, teachers, lecturers and other office staff in all over the 180 countries (Almani; 2020). Due to this closure every country is trying their level best to overcome from this situation following to which efforts education is on top priority. To outcome from this situation “Work from Home” policy was implemented to control the spread of covid-19 but this implementation put a negative impact on the learning process due to lack of class activities, face to face lectures, practical works and ongoing assessments during classes.
In spite of this, online education is continuing all over the world wherein a lot of trends are found. There is a lot of need for co-factors of education in this means and many problems arise during the course of the study. This study focuses on this all.
Historically there is a greater death ratio in the days of any pandemic. Taking example of Sindh in 1800 AD onwards where there was bubonic plague in Karachi, as per the record killed more than 2000 population (Jokhio; 2020). This was a record of the total working portfolio of English forces which attacked Sindh in later months of 1843 AD with the help of Naunmal “a person who was loyal to British Army” (Naunal; 1926). They attacked the working forces of last emperors of Mirs in Hyderabad after entering into the Kohistani belt of Sindh from Gadap Kathore and Karachi region which was just a little fishing village those days. That was history that the English army travelled Bombay and went to the people of Bombay, from where affected rats entered in the ship of English people and made them towards the best portfolio to tackle the heading work at Karachi where industries were about to be built. Those were the days, where Karachi was closed up for the first time in history and that was the time where there were reports of the first ever lock down of the city in history. Karachi was totally closed up and it was found that it made education from zero-to-zero level. Educational institutions were though a few even to be able to count on the fingertips. Education was badly affected and it was a serious time to face for Karachians where there was a lot of pandemic of plague. This affected education a lot and opened the eyes of many stakeholders of the world to look into the eagle matter to devise any certain policy to come up and cope up with the emergency situations. After this incidence, it was clear for everyone to have a clear vision for education. Later on, British people made certain policies to reach at the peak and it made it possible to spread educational networks all around the country.
The present pandemic of the global problem of Covid-19 has also made it the same as it worried the world in 1800 AD throughout the century in various waves. Educational institutions are closed now and classes are ongoing online. In the need of online educational motives, counseling and it allied many things are happening at the risk and on top problems. Counseling is called as the major motive towards the betterment of education, notwithstanding the processing and overwhelming rapidness of the presence of digital distance teaching and learning in shape of online education is working to the some extend in this context, counseling services are rarely found in the institutions which will be focused in the present study. Counseling is the tool to brighten the future of students and its services are in a lot of need for students during the global pandemics. Hence, in this scenario, there is a lot of need to accommodate the students with modern counseling trends and services.
To continue education students and parents must be motivated to use technology as a key source for e-learning. As in developed countries have already adapted it though different tools like “blackboard, zoom, Microsoft teams, and google classes etc.” Now the developing countries are also adapting it by using the same technological application through motivation and counselling with different students and parents at different age levels.
As per World Health Organization notice dated 27 March 2020, it is clear that stress, anxiety, and fear would increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic situations across the world. (World Health Organization, 2020). Due to the pandemic huge numbers of people have died worldwide and new cases of infected people are increasing rapidly. Health specialists have found that about 300 million people suffer from panic and anxiety complaints and notify that our psychological well-being could be at high risk (Shah, 2020). Studies have found that symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress have affected learner’s mentality during pandemic (Mei et al: 2011).
According to primary research on the pandemic’s effects several aspects of mental fitness have already been blocked (Bavel, 2020; Stark et al., 2020; Van Agteren et al., 2020; Yang et al., 2020). These impacts have happened even in families that do not comprise family members who have contracted COVID-19. Therefore, the virus is a main stressor, even if everybody in the home has stayed fit. Moreover, anxiety can increase by forced isolation of quarantine and forced closeness between family members with tenuous relationships (Bavel, 2020; Stark et al., 2020).
Many Countries such as China, Italy, USA, England and Georgia converted to online education by interrupting traditional face-to-face education to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on education. In this condition people are advised to stay at home, work, and study at home (Jamaluddin et al.2020). Several educational institutes in China have suspended face-to-face classes and switched to online learning for the sake of protection of learners and teachers. (Wang et al., 2020). Many learners are negatively affected due to closure of schools and educational institutes during the pandemic (Zhong, 2020).
One more study found that staying at home has made the learners unhappy psychologically.
They heard news bulletins about COVID-19, increasing new cases and death toll, which put a negative impact on the learners. Learners who feel mentally stressed are rejected to be a part of online classes or reluctant to participate in online activities. A huge number of learners are stressed, worried and reluctant to participate in online set-up. (Sultana & Ramij, 2020).
The vital aspects that are affecting the learner’s mental health radically without gender differences are parental earnings and family members or friends are becoming COVID-19 patients. Prominently, urban learners are less inclined to despair than rural learners (Shigemura et al 2020).
Education is a right of everybody (Joel Spring: 2000). Online education which is known as video-based education is very effective for the 21st century educational set-up. Online education facilitates two-way communication, encourages learner’s participation, class accomplishment and provides satisfactory outcomes like face-to- face classes. (Jeong, 2010). The teacher arranges the learning methodology by organizing students, materials, media, techniques, gadgets and time to carry out the learning process smoothly (Ragin, G et al., 2020; Santosa, D. S. S et al., 2020).
The application of remote learning is similar to online learning. Online learning is defined as teaching and learning activities carried out through the use of technology and knowledge. The communication between the teacher and learners occurs on a regular basis which is practically very supportive to learners (Bozkurt et al., 2015; Buselic, 2017; Griffiths, 2016). The execution of distance learning highlights when there is no face to face meetings between the teachers and learners. Face to face meetings can be switched to online meetings through video conferencing, powerpoint presentation of academic materials in both in actual time and delayed (Griffiths, 2016).
The teaching and learning process carried out at homes by using online media and other media during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learning at home has many benefits including transportation fare and time, reducing stress due to crowding of transportation on the roads, and having lots of study time (Purwanto, A et al., 2020). On the other hand, learning at home has many drawbacks, including producing tediousness, dropping work enthusiasm, and increasing electricity bills and internet charges (Nurhasanah, S & Sobandi, A, 2016). Online learning from home during covid-19 pandemic was extremely different from former learning practices. And produced tediousness. As an outcome Learners curiosity and enthusiasm was dropped (Siagian, R. E. F, 2015).
Technology plays a very vital role in education during covid-19. Online line education is the only safe option to continue the teaching and learning process. Study from home has become a condition due to many limitations during pandemic. Moreover, through online learning, it is believed that the rapid spread of COVID-19 can be suppressed. (Rahiem, 2020). Usage of ICT is essential for the execution of counselling services (Beidoglu et al. 2015). In schools ICT can enhance working efficiency as well as manage workloads more professionally (Hayden et al.
2008). Proficient use of ICT to enhance students’ academic achievement (Carle, Jaffe, & Miller, 2009) Modern learners and teachers are interested to embrace technology, many of them have lived their lives immersed in technologies (Prensky, 2010).
Due to limitations in traditional education and teaching process the communication between learner and teachers is provided from a certain centre through technology in distance education (Eygü & Karaman, 2013; Moore, Deane & Galyen, 2011). For the success of online teaching and learning activities the most influential thing is the level of student’s self – regulation (Samruayruen et al., 2013; Wong et al., 2019). Interest and curiosity are essential elements of learning (Cheung, 2018). Through curiosity in learning, it will increase learners’ attention in education (Kayalar & ARI, 2017; Lin & Huang, 2016), in addition, it will increase learning outcomes (Isnani, 2017). The biggest challenge for the teachers is to make education more ‘humane’ and embodies during pandemic by creating a balance between technology use and humanity in education (Hung and Wati 2020).
Despite several advantages of online learning, there are many problems which need to be resolved, such as quality of teaching, high costs, exploitation of technology and attitudes of teachers, learners and management (Valentine, 2002). There are benefits of online learning such as, provides learning opportunities, expands learning outcomes, simplifies networking and cooperation. Besides benefits of online learning there are shortcomings too such as, lack of communication between learners and teachers, lack of involvement, feeling of loneliness, while lack of social interaction may lessen enthusiasm and communication and weaken discipline (Ainoutdinova et al., 2017).
Distance learning has been investigated for a long time Nie & Zhe, 2020; Perri, 2016; Petrakou, 2010), where the learning takes place through smartphones, computers, laptops or other media connected to the internet (Zhang dkk., 2010). However, smartphones are considered perfect by the learners than other gadgets because of it is easy to carry and available in affordable prices
(Rusli et al., 2020). Countries with advanced technological expertise conduct counselling, video conferencing to diminish social distancing, telephone discussion and online meetings as a remedial measure. The people would not feel inaccessible at all (Alexande 2020). In perspective of school counselling services, ICT has various useful applications such as discussion forums, providing individual and group counselling sessions, reading and putting student’s feedback in study (Oraegbunam, 2009).
According to modern study the most widespread instant messenger is WhatsApp (Tole, 2016). One of the computers- generated guidance is called cyber counselling. It takes place through the help of internet connection. In this situation counselling procedure takes place through the internet in the form of web sites, e-mail, Facebook, videoconferencing (yahoo messenger) and other advanced ideas. Online counselling means that the teacher and the learner are not physically present in the same time and place (Ali, 2013). WhatsApp is a useful instant messaging application that permits us to share documents, messages, images, videos, pictures and conversation like blackberry messenger. WhatsApp can be installed in the Android version. WhatsApp is one of the popular applications downloaded worldwide particularly for the smartphone users. (Sgaras et al.,2015; Statt,2016; Seufert et al., 2016).
School counsellor and counselling teachers are required to transform in executing counselling facilities by utilizing technology, especially during pandemic. Unfortunately, there are problematic conditions, counsellors do not use technology preferably for providing counselling facilities (Glasheen & Campbell, 2009; Mason et al. 2018). Lack of knowledge, confidence and technological skill are the main reasons behind this resistance from the school counsellors
(Adebowale & Popoola, 2011; Cabaniss, 2001; Steele et al. 2015; Young & Kaffenberger,
2015). School counsellors can connect with stakeholders through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and get involved in online professional learning societies (Carpenter & Krutka, 2014; Hur & Brush, 2009). School counsellors who used technology more frequently had higher self-ratings of devolving school- family- community partnerships (Cronin et al. 2018) The swift development of technology has embedded the psychological counselling occupation (Hayden, Poynton, & Sabella, 2008).
According to several studies school councillors do not believe that technology will improve the value of counselling services (Cabaniss, 2001), ICT must play a vital role in school counselling services (Bluhm & Kishner, 1988), that ICT is appropriate in schools (Savas_, 2006). From alternative viewpoint studies have found that the comprehensive developmental counselling program is used for the purpose of guidance syllabus, guidance curriculum and system support dimensions; however, over all school counselling program including guidance curriculum, individual student support and system support are surely enhanced by the use of ICT (Hayden et al., 2008).