COVID-19 has changed our lives of 2020 a lot. One of the things that cannot be left out is the change in education. Elementary, middle and high schools will have the first-ever “online opening.” However, concerns persist that there is not enough preparation time for the sudden online education, which is why the fall semester system is being proposed as an alternative. The fall semester system is a system in which every elementary, middle and high schools start a new school year in September instead of March. The proponents of this system claim, “If we have to change it once anyway, let’s change it now in this COVID-19 situation.” As a sophomore university student, considering an exchange student, I personally think the introduction of the fall semester system is beneficial for me and this alternative system looks very attractive. However, the introduction of the September semester system is overly unrealistic.
If the fall semester system is introduced, every schedule would be changed. From college entrance exams and recruitment of companies to recruitment for civil servants, everything would be changed. It has a huge impact on the lives of countless people who have important schedules such as seeking employment and graduation. Furthermore, it does not make sense that students who had a hard time studying for the college entrance exam, have to study until May.
The fall semester system should be introduced after years of preparation, fully discussing these problems. A big social confusion is inevitable for a sudden introduction. Also, it is a serious problem that social and economic costs exceed 10 trillion won.
However, I agree with many voices who are concerned about the current situation as they insist on the fall semester system. Online education is likely to significantly reduce the quality of lectures. University students, who have already begun cyber lecture, will especially sympathize that Online classes are less intensive than face-to-face classes and poorly managed. The younger students, the worse it will be.
Now is the time to focus on discussing how to improve the quality of online education, rather than resorting to the unrealistic agenda of the September semester. Online classes should also be able to maintain a close psychological distance between students and teachers. For this, it is essential to strengthen teachers’ capabilities, utilize various tools, and distribute equipment. There will certainly be a lot of confusion when online school starts. Active and immediate feedback on this should be presented socially. In this crisis, we hope that our education’s flexibility and ability will be more exercised.
Kim Dan-hee firstname.lastname@example.org
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