For the past few months, we had witnessed how the travel and education industry, let alone the language learning sector, had been hit hard when COVID-19 infested the entire world, causing major chaos and a continuous increase in the death rate worldwide. Many significant businesses were terribly affected by this global pandemic. It’s a heartbreaking scene to see the hospitality, travel, and learning-related jobs swiftly decreasing this 2020 and possibly until 2021 all because of this worldwide health-risk outbreak.
THE TRAVEL SECTOR DEALING WITH COVID
It is believed that because of the indefinite situation, what is definitely clear is that this pandemic will seriously change the way the education and travel businesses will function both long and short-term. Due to the significant restrictions on movement and leaving the house, traveling long-distance becomes very limited. Primarily, everything that concerns traveling – modern or traditional ways is impossible to do at this point in time.
Based on the American Hotel and Lodging Association data, they deem the possibility that the hospitality industry and hotel-related businesses will be losing roughly nine times more than the 9/11 incident. Many have even anticipated that it will need more than just five years before the world recovers from the Covid-19 effects and for travel and other industries to rebound to the pre-COVID scenario.
Of course, there are still some travel companies that stand the dire economic effect of this pandemic. It’s good news still because businesses, especially those under the medical and health-essential industries, require travel services to supply the fundamental needs to all parts of the world.
WHAT WILL THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY EXPECT FROM THE CORONAVIRUS?
As the coronavirus pandemic proceeded to spread, many enterprises in the tourism industry had fallen, and some had been hit really hard, leaving countless employees jobless. The sector that is flourishing over the years and is one of the factors that made people closer to every dream destination they have on their bucket lists is unstable and helpless. For the main reason, this virus demands us to stay at home where we are sheltered and safe.
For airlines, due to the travel restrictions and global recession that is happening, their estimated revenue fall would be roughly around $252 billion. This crisis does not spare major and well-known carriers; mind you.
Hotels are likewise on the same fate, and their worldwide industry is experiencing a massive drop too.
Cruise companies are battling the odds to recover after facing stories and news that they are carriers of virus-infected passengers that contributed to an even faster widespread of the virus even in countries that are least expected to be infected. According to reports, the cruise business has lost a heartbreaking revenue of $750 million – give or take because of this swift shift of events.
HOW THE PANDEMIC SHOCKED THE EDUCATION INDUSTRY
The fight for education to be a fundamental human right had been facing various kinds of challenges even before the coronavirus pandemic was widely spread. Notwithstanding the early global enrollment for grade school in almost all countries around the world, there is still a significant number of children who are out of school, around 250 million of them. In contrast, roughly 800 million of the global adult population appears to be illiterate.
Furthermore, the learning system in school does not even guarantee the quality of education that was promised. More or less, 380 million primary school students, mostly children, fall extremely short in necessary reading skills, especially when it comes to language, and again, it’s all over the world.
So, even before COVID-19 hit the entire nation, the challenge in education had been undeniable, and that is from the financial resources viewpoint.
LANGUAGE EDUCATION EVEN BEFORE THE VIRUS STRIKES
During the early part of 2020, there was a close-knit goal of the funding gap to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 in education quality. Countries under the low and the lower to middle-income earners are seriously struggling yearly. And because of the pandemic situation, it is anticipated that the gap will increase to at least one-third. Language schools are not exempted from being hit by the pandemic.
The COVID-19 virus resulted in massive chaos in education, in general, that is first-time in history – ever. In mid-April 2020, most language schools, institutions, universities, and other learning establishments had a significant decrease in student attendees, and some had to close down for safety purposes temporarily. The response to educational establishment closure was incredibly heartbreaking.
Since language schools depend so much on foreign student enrollment, some language-centered institutions and schools had to put their services on hold. It had caused a dramatic increase in most students not getting the same quality of education compared to regular schooling. But since it’s officially the “new” normal stage, many had resort to online learning and virtual tutoring. At the same time, roughly around 80 percent of primary schoolers have been out of school since then, which happens to countries with inferior human development and educational rights.
FACING THE EFFECTS IN LANGUAGE AND EDUCATION
The disruption in education is expected to continue, and its substantial consequences will extend even beyond knowledge until this pandemic is entirely under control. The closure of schools had made many education seekers and instructors vulnerable to their surroundings, causing increased physical and mental health issues, verbal and physical abuse, and other forms of violence. These may be undocumented or not being mentioned in the news often, but it is now rampant.
The majority of language schools who had been performing for years had to consider some business-saving options. While some had to divert to online language learning, lie low, or completely close down due to heightening debt or even unexpected bankruptcy.
It is still astounding to know that there are governments who believe and powerfully support education. Despite the closing of most language schools and universities, there are politicians, government agencies, and institutions willing to help the industry by providing financial support and assistance to sustain the financial losses. They are eager to pull out strings and use their authority to make it possible for students to learn the language still wherever they are situated at the moment.
Utilizing and maximizing the Internet and social media apps’ opportunities have been the best solution to continue language learning and other studies. The majority of teachers used the online realm to provide lessons and modules to their students from across the globe, whether in a group or one-on-one tutorial sessions. Many video call apps support unlimited video call session design specifically for online classes and learning. Depending on the grade or year level, teachers and students are getting used to this kind of “new” knowledge set up because the flow of learning and teaching is still the same; only the place or venue had changed. Students even get to have an assignment, projects, and exams.
Not to mention, there are also private and concerned citizens who put into so much effort to provide learning gadgets and other learning materials to students who do not have the means to purchase one for themselves. It is true that in spite of the fact that the pandemic had affected every single human being on the planet, there are still people who choose to turn this unfortunate situation into an opportunity to help one another, especially to those who needed it the most.
A Glimmer of Hope
The infographic data quickly changes as swift as the pandemic does. All means of transportation by land, air, and water are gravely affected. The same situation as with the education industry, yet the bailout is coming. From the country where the coronavirus had started, China offers a solution that will shed light on the entire nation’s future. With positive news spreading that the virus is gradually under control, movement and travel restrictions are slowly lifted. A lot of reported recovery is all over the news here and there. There is indeed hope despite all these surreal things going on.
The educational division is also doing its part in providing the same quality of education that learners truly deserve no matter the circumstance. This move is also being applied by language schools and centers to maintain the language learning energy high.
While most businesses are progressively operating again, let alone the travel sector, everything will go back to its usual process while embracing the “new” normal – soon, according to economists. The same situation is anticipated to happen to the language school industry because, for as long as people seek to learn a language, the sector will do its best to provide the necessary knowledge no matter where they are worldwide.