It has been a little over two months since students across the globe made the switch to e-learning. With an ever-increasing rise in the number of COVID-19 cases every day, reopening schools, colleges, and other educational institutions seem next to impossible. This renders the idea of attending schools and colleges, a mere longing in the hearts of the students.
With the threat of virtual school and college sessions looming over the students, it’s high time we reviewed this change in the education field forced upon us by the. Adapting to a virtual learning environment has been extremely difficult for both teachers and students. However, it is safe to say that they have done a commendable job handling this sudden shift away from classrooms. Virtual department discussions and online examinations are the new norm. Nevertheless, it is not to be misunderstood that all the barriers of difficulty have since been overcome.
There are families with numerous children who are forced to share one device. Teachers and students with poor internet connection suddenly find themselves struggling to bridge the wide gap created between education and learners. It is equally important to acknowledge such difficulties and structure a reasonable solution to ensure that education doesn’t suffer too sorely because of the pandemic.
It is also not uncommon nowadays for teachers to have students with fake names attending their online classes and for students to ‘write’ on the virtual board in the online class without permission. Anonymity has encouraged students to explore various online platforms in a bolder way, but most times in ways that cause chaos, eventually disrupting classes. Sadly, the amount of control that the teachers can exercise over students during online classes is minimal, which in turn has a direct impact on the quality of education. While adult-learners tend to be more self-driven and focused, the younger students often need more direction, monitoring and accountability.
One of the many privileges this pandemic has robbed the teachers and students from is the happiness that they derive from the time spent together in classrooms. Neither can teachers quickly re-strategize their teaching methodology based on their students' responses, nor can the students spend their free periods and cancelled classes playing hand-cricket or indulging in pen-fights anymore. Within a matter of days, PT periods and co-curricular activities have been replaced by PUBG and Ludo games.
In difficult times like these, when our lives are filled to the brim with uncertainties, it is equally essential to offer moral support to the students who are alarmed by this sudden turn in events. Taking good care of students is crucial since they need care rather than just work right now. Educational institutions must establish robust support systems and have them up and running as soon as possible.
So, even though e-learning eliminates the hassle of everyday travel and reduces the net teaching time as compared to a traditional classroom set-up, hopefully, the upcoming academic sessions won’t go online for too long. Regardless of the pressure, students undoubtedly miss their friends, busy schedules, and most of all, their beautiful campus where they have made countless beautiful memories.