Written by Kanak Sharma, a grade 9 student
We all know that the COVID-19 the pandemic has brought the world to its knees.
India has now become the seventh-worst affected country in the world. The nation was under a complete lockdown since 25th March 2020 to 31st May 2020. As the lockdown dogmas prohibit the schools, universities, and other didactic institutions to operate, students are being tutored online. It is unbelievable that anyone would have ever imagined being home for months at a stretch and being educated virtually. Video conferencing became common since 2010s. But its usage increased at a high rate due to the lockdown.
Being the 21st generation we are fortunate enough to have access to apps like Zoom, Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Google Forms etc., which have helped us get a near to real classroom experience and cope up with the curriculum. In the beginning, the virtual classroom was new to everyone – the teachers, students as well as the parents but as they say time is the best preceptor, everyone learned and hopefully are now quite comfortable with the new methodology. Through these apps, students are able to interact with the teachers and ask their queries without any hesitation even when they are miles away. Technology has given wings to education that was earlier bound into the four walls of the classroom. The teachers should be thanked enough to unlearn and learn to give their best and to get us an enjoyable and enriching classroom experience.
As the tools of education differ in the virtual world, students are taught by different videos and PowerPoint presentations that make it easier to grasp and refer later. Earlier, people had to travel to various specific institutions across the country to pursue their career but now with the right equipment, online education can reach anywhere and everywhere. Apart from this, virtual schooling also provides a lot of comforts and saves energy which was previously spent in travelling.
Every coin has two sides to it, we’ll have to agree that somewhere we have lost the emotional bond with our mentors. We know, that the facial expressions and body language of the presenter and receiver confirm their involvement in the subject, which has been missing in the virtual world. Schools provide us a platform where we get to socialize, talk and share our thoughts thus no online app can replace that. By being exposed to a different group, we tend to develop a sense of self-dependency which is missing at home. However, due to the lockdown that essence has been missing. A fact that should be taken into consideration is that grooming is always better in schools with a group and an appropriate environment. Nowadays, the competition which provokes a child to speak and put forward their perspective has disappeared.
Studying online has been advantageous but to some extent, it certainly effects our wellbeing. The eyes and brain cells are suffering the most because of the blue rays being emitted by the screen. Online classes have increased the screen time and thus teenagers are more prone to tech-neck. In school, students are built physically and spiritually by the morning workouts and prayer which may not be the same at home. In addition, to all this we must not ignore the attribute that in educational institutions students tend to learn several things subconsciously from the behaviour of their peers.
My outlook, as a student, on education during the epidemic has definitely changed and made me realise the value of every minute detail of school. It is human nature to value things you have lost, I have started to miss and pay gratitude towards my teachers, friends, assemblies, co-curricular activities, and lastly the bond we all shared. I believe that teachers would think the same and would want to reengage in the emotional connect and their relationship with students. Ultimately we, as students need to learn to be thankful for the conveniences we have and applaud our teachers who are trying their best to give us a gratifying learning experience and our parents who always have our backs and have helped us afford these online experiences.
The biggest personal learning for me from this episode is to learn to co-exist with the complications we are facing. I hadn’t imagined being taught online but half a loaf is better than no bread. I appreciate the blood and sweat put in for making it all possible and for expanding the horizons of education.