The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought the world to a temporarily partial standstill. The economies are turning dry, businesses are unproductive and income is clogged. The world economy could well be crippling, what with markets and trade suffering amidst this global chaos.
However, another area of concern lies with the education system. Like every other country, India, too, is struggling to cope with this inconvenience. With everything shut, lectures are cancelled, exams are postponed and students lack the experience of a formal education.
The Inevitable Shift to EdTech Innovations
Learning and gaining education are basic human rights. In any given situation, people always find a way to educate themselves and keep learning and growing. Likewise, teachers have taken to digital platforms to make the best of the pandemic situation. The world is seeing a futuristic learning experience now, in the present. Teachers are looking to explore new and creative ways to utilise the available resources. But like every other coin, this one has two sides, too.
Teachers are using live conferencing apps to conduct group lectures using the internet connection. A mutually convenient pre-set time allows maximum students to attend these lectures from the comfort of their homes. However, while group discussions and interactions are still carried out, students could find their homely environment distracting with all family members at home, making concentration a big challenge. A joint family could stand to be noisier and disturbing with small kids playing around, the elders cooking and cleaning, hanging around, having loud telephone conversations, the television running in the background, the family sitting together, wiling away time. Even though the students are all studying together online, yet, nothing beats the experience of a physical classroom.
Schools work as a social interaction hub for students. Besides a formal education, they also learn other development lessons like team work, manners, healthy competition and companionship. However advanced an online studying platform may be, it can never compare to the physical environment a school provides.
Once things begin to settle, kids might find it difficult to return to their previous schooling routine after the lockdown. Another important concern is kids’ addiction to gadgets and the internet. Their physical activities could be compromised. Perhaps, a digital addiction could take a toll on their health. They might become lazy and disinterested having experienced the comfort and luxury of gadgets and technology.
As School Moves Online, Many Students Stay Logged Out
Nonetheless, in this digitally progressing world, the under privileged still stand to suffer. For kids who do not enjoy the luxuries of an internet connection, a device host to access these facilities and the technological knowledge, this lockdown is ripping them off any other alternatives to school, however temporary. They are missing out on lessons, practice and are prone to forget what has been previously taught.
A lot has already changed and we stand to witness a lot more through the emerging years. While some might celebrate these technological upliftments and benefits they bring with them, others might find these to be a move away from simplicity and the need for physical efforts.
Is the world going to lean on a digital crutch? Is the Indian education system going to face new challenges? While public sectors like the telecom industry are joining hands with private schools and colleges, is this eventually going to flourish as a boon or a bane?