The world seems to have come to a halt due to the novel COVID-19 coronavirus. COVID-19 has affected our everyday life. As a student in Sydney City College of Management (SCCM), my life has been effected a lot by this global pandemic. I normally would attend face-to-face classes at SCCM college for my IT course but after the outbreak, the best alternative for me was to continue my class through online learning via Microsoft Teams with my trainer.
As a student participating in the face-to-face learning program, online school was confusing to grasp as we had not been prepared for a sudden change. I along with some of my classmates reported that the home-learning program to be even more stressful than regular classrooms. We felt we had a lack of concentration to stay motivated, negligible socializing and having to attempt assessments solo. Education is not only about gaining knowledge, it is also about the interaction and connection between the students themselves and their trainers. Hence, the true sufferers are the students in less fortunate situations who are in schools that lack the proper facilities to provide a complete online learning program.
The most affected areas of our course, was the lab aspects, which provides us with our critical hands-on experience. Luckily SCCM has the infrastructure to dampen the disturbance and thus me and my fellow students greatly benefited as the trainers provided live recordings of their class so if there was any difficulty the students could view it as many times as needed, Additionally, SCCM utilized talk to text in their online lessons allowing students to fully grasp what was being said. Practical classes were held in smaller batches to maintain CoVID-Safe protocols, by maintaining social distancing and sanitized turnovers. SCCM also went the extra mile and kept the campus open to provide mentor support classes three times a week to help those who required a little more to progress in their course, while maintaining all student support services concurrently. In particular, they organized Mr. Tariq Prodily, a qualified mental health expert, clinical psychotherapist and behavioral support practitioner, to have personal one-on-one sessions with students who were facing any form of hardship, especially mental. These sessions addressed our problems, but more-so gave us a moral boost and a feeling that if needed SCCM is here to support us through this pandemic and we are not fighting this fight alone.
On a personal note, to further highlight SCCM’s supportive nature, my laptop was having multiple issues not allowing me to properly complete my class and assessment requirements. I approached the principal Mr. Naresh Thapa, and upon advising him of my issues he took it upon himself to repair my laptop and again attend classes appropriately. While the repairs were being completed he urged me to use the computers on campus as required to ensure I wasn’t falling behind on my training and education. This privilege was and is still open to all students who are having technological issues.
Although we all still face difficulties that have been presented due to the effects of COVID-19, there are some positive lessons we can take back from this difficulty. We have learnt how to be innovative and resilient. I feel that although the online classes have been challenging, it has been great as the alternative would have been to defer or halt my education, and as time is goes on, I have been able to better focus more and thus perform.
Looking towards the future, it seems that CoVID-19 will persevere a little longer and although after months it starts to seem as if the situation is coming back towards “normal”, we suddenly get spikes in CoVID-19 cases and then it feels we are heading back to square one. The recent increase of CoVID-19 cases in the Northern beaches area of Sydney was a prime example of that reset. We were expecting to go to back to face-to-face learning from Jan 2021, but due to the outbreak incident, SCCM had to revert back to the online platform for the following term.
This presence of CoVID-19 has inadvertently permanently changed the education system all over the world, and I can confidently say that SCCM is ready. Hopefully normality will return, until then I can attest on behalf of my fellow students that we consider ourselves to be very lucky that we are proud members of the Sydney City College of Management cohort.
Diploma of IT