COVID-19 reshapes education for the long term

Photo by Matt Ragland

Technological transformation of the education sector has accelerated during COVID-19, highlighting the importance of intelligent technologies to deliver quality education, mitigate health risks, and build student resilience, according to Lenovo.

However, a study by IDC shows that with almost one third of education institutions in Asia Pacific expecting their budget to fall by 10% to 20%, and a quarter anticipating a bigger drop of 20% to 49 percent, education institutions are confronted to rethink their future strategies for digital transformation.

Educational institutions face the challenge of maintaining a delicate balance between pre-COVID-19 normalcy and protecting students’ health. For curriculums that cannot be replicated virtually, such as engineering and medical courses, educational institutions have to adopt smarter ways to simulate the physical learning experience, without compromising the health and safety of students.

There is also a need to ensure a digital learning ecosystem where students, regardless of family income, geographical location and age group, will continue having access to these materials.

According to the IDC InfoBrief, 35% of institutions are turning their focus to strengthening their software capabilities, 30% are looking to invest in cyber security solutions to ensure online safety for students, and 20% of institutions want to improve operational efficiency.

With almost half facing looming budget cuts, education institutions need to find smarter technologies to accelerate digital transformation, and to do so in a smarter way by leveraging educational solutions. This enables the school IT to focus less on fixing random and time-consuming IT glitches. 

“(Educational) institutions should not let this crisis go to waste, as the pandemic offers new opportunities to explore technological and organisational innovations,” said Gerald Wang, head of public sector at IDC Asia-Pacific. “Care must be taken to ensure the digitally displaced are not excluded from essential education services, especially at K-12 or compulsory education levels.”