- The instantaneous and abrupt requirement of the online learning medium increased as soon as the lockdown 1.0 was seen fixing itself for a longer time.
- The differences with people and their problems with respective income areas, job and education profiles were highlighted, mostly in a negative way in such trying times.
- Most every common man dealt with tons of issues while changing into a digital medium.
- The issues created in using and after the continued using of the digital medium were rarely ending or came with a stop.
With the increase in the crisis the world is facing at large today, we, the people, who reside in it as the common man, are probably having the most difficult period of their lives which they were never prepared for in the very first place. With the increase of people losing jobs and decrease in getting needful or even life saving opportunities, the commoner had always had one ray of hope for his/her/their betterment: EDUCATION. The spread of this pandemic was so quick and so huge and with no presumed notions, this hit every human in a very deliberate helpless manner and with the gradual increase of these changing times with changing modes of studies, one can say that even that hope has started diminishing.
No one expected a virus like Covid19 to emerge, because of the way it has changed the way people live. Because of Covid 19, many changes occurred in our world, and it took time for people to accept the new normal everywhere, leading to the closure of schools and other educational institutions.
Initially, most governments, including ours, decided to temporarily close schools to reduce exposure to the Covid 19 virus, then the schools were reopened to some classrooms which had done nothing but just increase infection rates, and then closed again.
Although schools were closed, students continued to attend classes through various educational initiatives such as online classes, radio programs. On the other hand, this was good, but many students who do not have resources for online lessons have been hit hard.
THE STARTING INFLUENCE
India, as a country has always been influenced and educated under physical, offline classes. The thought of teaching students online and working online with the help of apps and online platforms was not something you could make a possibility on such a huge scale if there was not something as huge as this pandemic as a reason.
There have been a lot of difficulties in trying to get students from different backgrounds to get a proper education. An average urban kid when the online school had commenced had very natural problems of not being able to join the meetings or zoom classes and having slow internet issues. The average rural kid had totally different problems even though the aforementioned ones were prevalent. She or he had no devices in the first place to begin with. They had no monetary resources to even get any such devices. People coming from rural backgrounds had it tough to even get two square meals and not to forget, they had enough to look after as the virus was deadly and no jobs.
Schools which had not once permitted students to carry an electronic gadget or even work on a computer without a lecture, such devices were turned into learning centres for online classes. The teachers and students, both were getting familiar with this new normal, which was unquestionably more stimulating to provoke thought for the teachers to handle this situation. The teachers, who themselves had never touched such devices also faced challenges in designing effective lessons and the change of teaching was started with the change in the educating medium.
Villages which got barely 1-2 hours of electricity had students to provide for, the same way an urban or suburban city had 20-24 hours of electricity for people. The availability of internet and the knowledge to operate a computer was a difference seen in such a high number and in such diversity that there were online classes being kept to understand how to study from these online mediums. This suggested that while students from families with better means of living could without difficulty to tie and bond up the transition to remote learning, students from deprived, neglected and underprivileged background were likely to comply to incompetence and the dearth of adaptation, either because of the inaccessibility of the technology or the low education of their parents to guide them through tech-savvy applications. Non-accessibility of technical infrastructure and interrupted, irregular internet connectivity all across India was kind of, one of the biggest challenges in front of the students and teachers.
NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
The Indian education system had been hit hard by the COVID19 outbreak which has had quite a few negative impacts on education. Some of which are as discussed ahead.
Educational activities were difficult. Schools were closed and classes were suspended. Various councils had postponed annual exams and entrance examinations throughout India. Insufficient preparation of teachers and students. Teachers and students were not prepared for online learning; they were not prepared for such a sudden transition from face-to-face training to online learning. Some educated parents may give advice, but may not have the education needed to teach their children at home.
Digital equipment: especially in rural areas, many students have limited or no Internet access and many students may not be able to afford a computer, laptop or compatible cell phone at home. Online learning can create a digital divide between students.
According to various sources, the closure of the school had a strong impact on schoolchildren from the poor in India: most of the children were unable to access online education. This method of teaching became monotonous after some time passed and people got comfortable with it. The college and the school exams were more like a joke than something important for assessment. The competitive exams lost their charm as well with the constant changing pattern and date and time. More and more colleges had trouble with picking students and more freshmen and graduates had problems in getting jobs and internships.
This online teaching-learning method created a large gap between rich and poor students and urban and rural students.
METHODS TO COPE
This pandemic exposed a number of serious flaws in the Indian education system. Closures of school had seriously affected underserved students.
One of the key trends that may follow is the need for a hybrid approach to online learning with increased investment in upgrading the technological infrastructure of educational institutions. Particular attention should be paid to teacher training.
All higher education institutions now recognize the importance of technology and must take serious steps to introduce technology-oriented education through their learning management system. Educational institutions are encouraged to use technology in all respects. This pandemic shows that the link between technology and education will last forever.
Another proposal is that educational institutions can separate courses into formal education and online learning. This will help bring technology into the classroom.
Online learning will increase digital literacy between teachers and students, expand their reach and learning, and make them better suited to work in the digital world, thereby contributing to a resilient society.
India is not exactly fully equipped to provide education to all corners of the country through digital platforms. Choosing today's digital platform will impact students who don't have the same privileges as others. Leveraging digital technology to create an enabling environment for millions of young students in India should be a priority. Educational institutions need to strengthen their knowledge and information technology infrastructure to be prepared for situations like COVID19.