By- Manvi Singh
While all countries in different parts of the world are affected by COVID-19 infection, there are currently more than 1.2 billion children in approx. 186 countries worldwide that are affected by the closing of schools in the pandemic. Various countries have adopted the feature of Online Learning, and students are attending and responding to the teachers online, Whereas in various countries students have not returned to their schools till now and are left completely away from education. Due to these reasons for Shifting of Classroom to their home across many countries, peoples are wondering whether this online learning system will continue or not even after the virus spread and pandemic is over and is this process beneficiary or harmful and how will this impact the education in future. Many Question is WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF ONLINE LEARNING?
Even before the COVID-19, the world was adopting technologies to increase education, there were many investments done for Education Policies. And Online Learning was coming to the Education Market. It was predicted that Online Learning (For Example Virtual Tutorials, Augmented Reality, Online Classes, etc.) will play a major role in the Education System after 2030. But these systems came into usage in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, Online Classes were on high demand, and this gave a boost to many online learning platforms. Many of them offered free access to their services and increased their customers, one of them was BYJU’S (Online tutoring company in Bangalore founded in 2011) till 2018 not many of us did hear about BYJU’S but after announcing free live classes this firm the number of new students joining BYJU’S was more than 200% and now it is the World’s most highly valued EdTech company. Various other online platforms created there market including Edx, Coursera, Udemy etc. This rise of usage of these platforms increased after some of the schools instructed the students to continue their studies on online platform. Not only schools, Even Chinese Government announced and asked the students to start the studies on online platform Tencent Classroom.
But this was all about developed countries, approx. 50 percent of poor countries have failed to support the education in this pandemic, these countries don’t have funds to support education system because most of their funds are being spent in this crisis, the students of these countries can’t afford mobiles, laptops etc. and don’t have access to proper connectivity to be used for online learning. According to a report, In 7 low income countries less than 10 percent of poorest households have electricity.
It can be said that pandemic revealed weak spots in all system, whether it be governmet policies or district schools. Well known colleges and universities even failed to provide proper education and online classes to their students. Whereas some Schools Even lent out Laptops and mobiles to needy students. Institutions are building their own digital systems to support students. These tools will help during pandemic and also lead to digital approach in education in upcoming future.
Earlier, Colleges were shifting to online platform too but the rate was slow, but in 2020 the world saw a sudden rise in this rate. Some scholars say that sudden and unplanned use of online learning without any training and idea can lead to poor user experience of a good platform. While others believe that this new way of learning will lead to various benefits as it allows teachers to reach students more affectively by using chat groups, online meetings document sharing etc. We can’t hide from fact that this education process will create a gap among students from different economical background. And this gap will continue even at national and international level.
It will be very difficult, when schools resume their operations back in the classroom, in term of safety several measures needs to be taken to minimize the risks. First of all, developing clear rules on physical distancing measures, avoiding large gatherings, the start and time, meal times of the school may be kept different for different classes, moving classes to outdoors so that students follow proper distancing eeven otside classrooms, and make shifts in classes to reduce class size. Equally important are hygiene measures, including handwashing, use of proper mask, saititzers etc. and in terms of proper education colleges have to analyze each and every student personally about how much they have learned, to what extent they understood. After that teacher and faculties will have to provide sufficient and appropriate resources for students so that they catch up and continue forward. The education system may have to adopt other strategies for increasing the amonut and quality of learning. These may include extending classes schedules, summer classes, crash courses, etc. Schools may even consider access to quality online instruction by monitoring them through traditional classroom discusions. But this online system must be tailored properly (especially for those who are least prepared). This is essential because it is possible that schools open before vaccine is widely spread and the schools can again be interrupted due to future outbreaks atleast at local level. Schools also need to need to work for teachers, they have to support teachers by providing them proper training on how to use these technologies for instruction. Schools also need to have proper medical facilities to monitor staffs and students health. Upon entering School campus temperature must be taken.