The Corona pandemic has made a global impact in the past weeks and continues to hit most of the sectors, with education being one of the most affected ones. Students across the globe are loosing their valuable time of acedemics imposed during lockdown amidst the fear of pandemic. The situation has forced the schools to shut down and the students to stay home.
No wonder, children these days and parents too feel emotionally and psychologically drained at this juncture. At such a time, the extended lockdown period is forcing the education sector in India to rapidly evolve. Most schools and institutions have come up with the idea of online classes for students to start their respective academic years, instead of wasting time due to the delay in reopening the schools.
Why online learning becomes more important-
A major factor that frames student life is a set routine comprising school, homework, coaching or tuition classes, co-curricular activities, and more studies with a dash of entertainment thrown in. But this routine has completely been disrupted - the boundaries between study time, play time and me-time having merged these days, owing to the governmental regulations.
Establishing a routine becomes crucial for children, especially while staying indoors the entire day, to which they are not used to. A routine will keep the child engaged and the discipline to follow that routine has to come from parents. The online courses help to do just that. Not only can many of the students now attend the online classes arranged from school, they can remain in a routine, if they choose to attend a few of the online courses from leading ed-tech and e-learning websites.
We must recognize that each school community is unique, and it may not be possible for the proposed strategies of social distancing and hygiene practices to be implemented in every setting, during the Corona pandemic scare, if the schools reopen now. The online environment offers unprecedented opportunities for people who would otherwise have limited access to education, as well as a new paradigm for educators in which dynamic courses of the highest quality can be developed.
Advantages of online learning-
The online education module has largely been accepted by the students in India now in the wake of uncertainty of reopening of schools. While easily accessible, online education seems to be budget friendly to many as what more needed is just internet and attention. There are numerous courses and resources available for free access which can get rid of any financial issues for fee payment during lockdown.
Further, the students can fit online classes around their existing responsibilities and commitments and can learn at his or her own pace and time thereby planning study time accordingly. This means much less pressure and intensity. Also the teachers and the students can interact with each other at any time without the limitations of day or night, for providing study materials, clearing doubts or taking tests; provided the time is convenient to all participants.
Most imporatantly, amidst the regulations of social distancing and self isolation, the students if allowed to attend schools may not be able to exercise the safety precatutions in an effective manner. It would be very tough to control the students from playing or touching each other which might make the situation of virus spread out of control. Online classes can provide the same quality of education in the comfort of their homes thereby helping in securing their future and also in controlling the virus.
Education is important, definitely, but not more that human health. Even if the schools reopen, parents might take a back hand in sending their children for learning as weak immunities or growing immunities we say are more prone to risk. With the rise in the online education models in India and the government offering a slew of educational applications and platforms for both school and higher education institutes, it is better, appretiative for communities to accept and adopt the new normal!