A news study has revealed that the 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.
The report was conducted by analyst firm IDC for tech giant Lenovo to examine the impact of Covid-19 on the education landscape.
The report noted that many educational institutions felt that the mass migration into distributed, online learning during the pandemic was launched very quickly, without the opportunity for change management processes and operational best practices.
This, it said, resulted in education institutions recognizing the critical need for a well-coordinated and structured approach to ensure digital accessibility, curated content quality, enhanced student learning experiences, and support for educators and administrators.
However, with almost one third of education institutions in Asia Pacific expecting their budget to fall by 10 to 20 percent, and a quarter anticipating a bigger drop of 20 to 49 percent, the report said education institutions are confronted to rethink their future strategies for digital transformation.
The study said educational institutions are now confronted with 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. This 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,” it said.
“Having a distributed learning strategy that taps on smarter technology is essential and critical for education institutions to remain agile and be prepared for unpredictability,” the report said.
According to IDC, 35 percent of institutions are turning their focus to strengthening their software capabilities, 30 percent are looking to invest in cyber security solutions to ensure online safety for students, and 20 percent of institutions want to improve operational efficiency.
“Clearly, accelerating digital transformation and adopting intelligent digital tools are pivotal to helping education institutions ensure that learning continues, while empowering students to build the skills needed for the future workforce,” the report said.
With almost half facing looming budget cuts, the study said education institutions need to find smarter technologies to accelerate digital transformation, and to do so in a smarter way by leveraging educational solutions.
Michael Ngan, president and general manager of Lenovo Philippines, commented: “We have entered the next phase of what is likely to be a multi-phase pandemic, where the education landscape still remains extremely fluid. In this dynamic environment, learning has to continue even if students and teachers are physically apart. Educators and institutions have the opportunity to take advantage of transformative technology.”