Within this chapter, the researcher has focused on the understanding regarding literature review’s positive and negative impacts for the research and how this information adapts to the research. In this chapter, the researcher describes common and already existing challenges that students are facing in developing countries like Sri Lanka. When the researcher was searching for literature, the researcher found some literature that described those challenges. They have explained how this new virus affects education and how it became a challenge for students at every level. Further, it depicts that a lot of challenges are already in the society even before Covid-19. Some literature talks about both positive and negative facts about it. As an undergraduate, the researcher has a lot of experiences during this pandemic.
Impact Of Coronavirus On The Education System
Sri Lanka is considered a developing country. Therefore, there are a lot of issues and challenges that are ruling in the different sectors of the country. After being an independent country in 1948, a lot of governments have ruled Sri Lanka and still, it is a developing country according to (QI2020, 2020). As a country, there are a lot of sectors are operating and education is one of the most important sectors among them. Education is a critical factor in economic and social development. There are few levels of education levels in the education sector and that can be divided into primary, secondary, and higher education for easy understanding. The education system in Sri Lanka is not a successful sector in the last decades. Economic, social, and technological factors have driven the education system into a challenge for various parties. In Pre Covid-19 era, Sri Lanka has accepted and promoted physical education even if some parties have problems relating to getting access to that. Preschools, public schools, and public universities provide education as a free-of-charge service because of the free education policy in Sri Lanka. The government, at its various levels, primarily finances publicly provided education in the country. But because of financial, technological, and other problems creates challenges to the education system in Sri Lanka. On the other hand, Higher education is very important for countries to improve their development process more than primary and secondary. Higher education institutions play an essential role in achieving the Objectives through their research, education, operations and estates, and wider community involvement.(Chalkley, 2006) Today, the world has entered into a rapid economic, social and political transformation for creating wealth that requires educated people, their ideas, and new knowledge. Therefore, the knowledge economy requires institutions with the ability to discover new knowledge and innovative applications through entrepreneurial activities. After December in 2019, one of the most dangerous and effective viruses called SARS‐CoV‐2 (Velavan, 2020) has spread and it has become vulnerable to the education system in the world. The last 50 years have seen huge growth worldwide in the provision of education at all levels. COVID-19 denotes the most difficult challenge that these expanded national education systems have ever faced (Daniel, 2020). Many governments choose the lockdown method as a solution to stop the expansion of this virus. As Covid-19 created enormous pressure on the traditional higher education system, there was a desperate need for every government in the world to assimilate online education into their education system. The closure of the universities and schools due to covid-19 had triggered the government of Sri Lanka to promote online education as a solution to continue higher education activities during this pandemic. According to (Liyanagunawardena & Williams, 2021), they talked about Emergency Remote Education (ERE) is a solution that Sri Lanka is using during this pandemic. According to UNESCO reports the pandemic has disrupted face-to-face instruction for at least 9 out of 10 students around the world. Globally, 195 countries have closed all their schools, affecting over 1.5 billion students from pre-primary to higher education (UNESCO rallies international organizations, civil society and private sector partners in a broad Coalition to ensure #LearningNeverStops, 2021). This Covid-19 virus hit terribly the education sector as well as other sectors in both developed and developing countries. As such, On the instruction of the University Grants Commission, universities in Sri Lanka were set to close for academic tasks beginning March 13, 2020. (Rameez et al., 2020) After a few months, it was reopened in June 2020 and the examination of final year students was followed by other exams of different years of the academic program in universities in Sri Lanka. Closure of the universities and schools remain due to the second and third waves of the 12 Covid-19. In (Khan, 2021), noted that University closures may eventually worsen social, economic, and health inequities, notably among the UK’s most deprived areas. Sri Lankan universities are using various online platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and so on, to ensure that students completed their courses on time. The University of Kelaniya is using mostly Zoom flatform to conduct their activities. According to (Hayashi et al., 2020), all internet providers in Sri Lanka provide free internet access to university servers during this pandemic until the 17th of August 2020. This is an instrument to promote online learning among university students in Sri Lanka. University Grant Commission (UGC) and Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCan SL) agree with all internet service providers (ISP) to provide free access for university learning management systems and remote learning facilities through the Lanka Education and Research Network (LEARN) (Hayashi et al., 2020). LEARN helps universities and their students to continue their activities but they have some issues along the way. Furthermore, according to the LEARN report, as of 23 August 2020, 13 million activities (e.g., accessing reading materials, following lecture slides, attending online quizzes) using learning management systems were launched in a peak week during May 2020 (Hayashi et al., 2020). This LEARN had been in development for over 30 years, but students and faculty members did have some issues according to very reason research done by Asian Development Bank. Sri Lanka is using online learning as an ERE without understanding the logical concept of ERE as we discussed above. While using this online learning method and supported with LEARN, ADB stated this in their research as a challenge.
“While access and download of all learning materials from the university web servers were free, some faculty members put website links beyond university web servers, such as YouTube and digital news article websites, to facilitate distance learning. Access to these websites, however, is charged, which raised concerns and confusion among students and faculty members.” (Hayashi et al., 2020)