A switch from online to offline classes
We often indulge ourselves in this debate – Internet, a boon or a bane. Before the pandemic hit the world, it was mostly considered a bane. Covid 19 changed our perspectives. Who thought that one day when the world will pause its operations, the internet will come to our rescue and give us “online classes.” For most teachers and students, shifting to online classes was rather sudden. With that move, came a plethora of problems for which they had to find solutions by themselves. No wonder, online classes were convenient and safe, but they came with their own set of problems like students getting distracted in between the classes, nonavailability of devices and internet bandwidth, increased screen time, difficulty coping, more assignments, increase in cheating, and unfair means during exams and students misbehaving with teachers who were new to the digital world.
Since we were in the middle of a global medical emergency, mental and physical health were largely impacted. Pre covid, students attended school for roughly 6-7 hours with lunch breaks, outdoor activities, social interactions, and team projects. Post covid, students were bound to attend classes 4-5 hours each day with no interaction and activities- just staring at the screen trying to cope.
Teachers were supposed to bring their own devices which meant that in order to ensure that the quality of education that they were imparting was consistent, they had to invest their own money to create the ambiance through online teaching.
Lack of practical knowledge and lab sessions for students was also a major problem. If the country believes that online education is the way forward then 80-85% of students are not a part of it. Post covid as schools reopened, students found it difficult to adjust back to the old environment because most of them had become comfortable in their homes in the past 2 years. Students who didn’t pay attention during online classes or did not have access to attend the classes had to write their exams in offline mode. For some, this can be a sweet excuse but for others, it is a genuine problem.
Education is a fundamental right and the government must double up efforts to ensure it’s accessible. Online classes are not as effective but better than no class. We may be skeptical about it but it is also the time to embrace, improve, and be prepared for the future, in case we face any emergencies- The Indian Education System and the students shouldn’t suffer.