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Education in times of COVID-19

Category : COVID-19 | Sub Category : Lockdown Posted on 2020-08-14 17:36:45


Education in times of COVID-19

Covid-19 has forced universities across India, and the world indeed, to suspend physical teaching in full classrooms and shift to individual online classes. In India, while this transition has been comparatively smooth for some teachers and students, some of them are still adapting. Changes in the nature of classes, and the future of examination and evaluation, COVID-19 has changed the scenario for the Indian Education System.

 

While faculty grapples with new ways of managing this sudden transition to online education, students are left clinging on to their mobile phones and computer screens in want of a stable connection to attend classes and do assignments. These changes adapt to the role of Educator’s teaching methods as well as they normally judge the involvement of students through their behaviour in classrooms but with virtual platforms, such benefits are non-existent.

 

However, while technology is enabling, it can also be limiting, especially in India, where basic access is a challenge with every student not having a computer or fast-streaming internet at home. This leads to issues with attendance and participation in online sessions. A survey by IIT Kanpur revealed that 9.3 per cent of its 2,789 students were not able to download material sent by the institute or study online. Only 34.1 per cent of them had internet connection good enough for streaming real-time lectures. With such limitations, there is an entire section of students coming from remote areas or enrolled in public schools who are facing a lot of loss in their educational journeys.

 

Online Education whether it is on the school-level or the Higher Education levels, both face a huge milestone to effectively have that connection where the students adequately learn from the online lectures. Some Advantages of Online Education at such times include:

  • It allows the use of innovative methods of teaching with the help of technology and online tools
  • Allows reaching out to a large number of students across different areas while being safe
  • Does not disrupt learning because of the pandemic

 

But the beauty of class-room learning does get paused with physical interaction with professors which may also cause a few disadvantages such as:

  • Online teaching and learning takes time and practice
  • Evaluation methods change drastically
  • There is an inability to have a face-to-face connect with students and facilitate free conversations, discussions, and mentoring
  • One cannot reach all students because of technological limitations

 

Thus a combined strategy and effort of Universities and the government in this regard will go a long way in calming the nerves of our students. More so, for the final year students who are waiting to get their degrees to start their careers. With effective online teaching, regular attendance and online seminars would help keep the students motivated and enthusiastic.

With close to 1 billion students globally looking up to the combine of academia-governments-corporates, it is time to step up and devise solutions that help us beat this pandemic and emerge stronger and victorious. It is high time we shield our students from this unfortunate turn of events and guide our leaders of tomorrow to a road to uninterrupted learning and employment opportunities.

 

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