Ever since World War II, have so many countries around the world seen schools and educational facilities being closed at about the same time and for the same reason. Although we know this virus would have a far-reaching effect, what could that mean for education in the longer term? Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the way students are being taught around the world in a matter of months.

Educators around the world have been thinking for a while now about the need to reconsider how they will train future generations. This may be just the change that the sector needed to get us all to rethink how we’re educating and ask what we need to teach and what we’re training our students. So, as the educators struggle with the new ways of engaging with the students away from the classrooms and lecture theatres, it’s an excellent time to focus on how this disruptive phenomenon will help them to determine what learning for Generations Z, Alpha and beyond will look like.

The majority of students at our educational institutions today are from Generation Z, a community which has grown in a globalized world. As a result of this truly global pandemic, this generation, the oldest of which is now 25, is likely to rely on their schooling, with many facing canceled exams, sporting events, and even graduations.

This generation is characterized by technology, where the words FOBA (Fear of Being Alone) and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) convey their aspirations of instant communication and feedback – achieved through applications such as Instant Messenger, Snapchat, and WhatsApp. This requires something from parents and educators that are intensified with the latest remote learning. This generation also sees the importance of working collaboratively to address the world’s biggest problems – climate change and mental health are at the top of their list, and their mutual duty to separate themselves to protect older community members.

Generation Alpha, the Millennial Kids, is the most culturally diverse group in the world, and one in which technology is essentially an extension of their own consciousness and culture, with social media being a way of life. Such young pre-schoolers are also the group with the most untraditional family structures, often with “bulldozer parents” moving barriers out of the way for their children to establish a clear path. While Generation Alpha may be unaware of the effect of the global pandemic on their education at this stage, the impact will undoubtedly be felt for years to come even for our youngest learners.

Amid this COVID-19 crisis, it is sure that educators are wondering what and how they need to train the students in the future. According to a survey from Dell Technologies, 85 percent of the jobs that will reach Generation Z and Alpha by 2030 have not yet been conceived. The COVID-19 crisis may change the environment and global outlook; it may also show us how education needs to change so that the young learners can be better prepared for what the future may bring.

These lessons include:

Educating People in a Connected World

COVID-19 is a pandemic that shows how interconnected we are globally – there is nothing like isolated problems and behavior anymore. Successful people need to be able to appreciate this interrelationship in the coming decades and navigate across borders to exploit their differences and function in a collaborative way across the globe.

Redefining Educator’s Position

In the context of 21st-century education, the concept of an educator as the knowledge-holder who imparts wisdom to his pupils is no longer suitable. With students gaining access to information, and even acquiring a technological skill, we will need to redefine the role of the instructor in the classroom and lecture theater by clicking on their phones, tablets, and computers. This may mean that an educator’s position would have to shift towards promoting the growth of young people as active members of society.

Providing Life Skills for the Future

Young people need resilience and adaptability in this ever-changing global climate – skills that prove to be necessary to navigate successfully through this pandemic. Looking to the future, some of the most critical qualities employers will pursue will be innovation, communication, and coordination, along with empathy and emotional intelligence; and being able to work across demographic lines of differences to leverage the collective’s strength through effective teamwork.

Customizing Technologies to Deliver Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has led educational institutions around the globe to unexpectedly leverage and use the suite of available technical resources to create content for students in all sectors for remote learning. Educators around the world are finding new ways to do things differently and with greater versatility contributing to future gains for students’ worldwide inaccessibility to education. These are new modes of instruction that were largely untapped previously, especially in the arena of Grade 12 kindergarten.

Most importantly, let’s hope that these experiences of loneliness and distant learning away from their friends, educators, and schools will serve as a cautious reminder of the importance of our universal need for face-to-face social interaction for Generation Z, Alpha, and future generations.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here