In November,2019 China announced outbreak of covid-19. Soon it enlarged its tentacles and spread throughout the world. WHO declared it a pandemic. On 24th of march, 2020 government of India declared a complete lockdown.
All government offices( except some) , schools, colleges ,religious places ,private institutions were shut down. In the middle of semester suspension of classes came as a shock to some students while some celebrated this surprise holiday. The main concern that came into light was pressure of completing the syllabus amid the pandemic.
India has been follower of traditional teaching imparting knowledge through classroom. In the name of technology we just have computer labs installed in our schools. Introduction of smart class is still a new concept in Indian schools while many doesn’t even have one.
According to reports, the enrolment in government schools have come down to 52.2% in 2017 from that of 74.1% in 1978 (TOI). Private schools have a long way to go in terms achieving desired learning outcome. But, private schools comes with the load of paying high amount of fees to avail all facilities. Everyone can’t afford it. Large population of people depends upon state sponsored schools to complete their primary, secondary and higher education. We all know what is the condition of government school in India and we have long way to go.
This pandemic added cherry of suffering to our piece of misery cake. Due to covid -19, we switched to e-learning platforms like zoom, google meet, Microsoft Teams etc. Students and teachers got introduced to these new tech savvy learning platform. Completely amateurs slowly started sailing through. These remedies quoted, ‘learning should not stop.’ The problem doesn’t stop here. Approximately 83.3 crore population lives in rural India where we still struggle for a stable electricity. Then how can one imagine of having a stable internet connectivity. Along with this, having smartphone for one’s own need is not always a necessity but requirement. This might come as a surprise to millennial kids who frequently change their phones out of fashion.
Let’s understand this through an example. In a family of 5 suppose 2 are school going students. Income of the family is average. Due to pandemic online classes are going on and there is only one smartphone in the house. It can only prove to be useful for one child while leaving out another. Here the question arises, why not buy a new one? The answer simply is not everyone has a luxury to do so. I can list many such real life examples where students struggle everyday. The problem here is two fold. Teachers too face difficulties in getting along with these technologies because they are used to pen-paper mode of teaching. These issues not only concerns government school in rural areas but also private schools in urban areas. Some parents manage to cater to the needs of their child so that they don’t get behind in studies. What about other students whose parents fail to do so? Are we going to label them as bad/irresponsible parents? Of course NO.
Ranting about these problem areas will do us no good. This pandemic taught us where we are lacking behind and we have to work upon these areas of concern. Education plays vital role in molding ones country. It empowers youth who are the torchbearer. Government needs to make some changes in policies making it more equitable. Where no child is left behind not because of his/her own lack of abilities but because of technology. Teachers should be given training in learning new techniques, strategies for making academics more interesting and attention grabbing. We don’t know what tomorrow will be like we can definitely be ready to deal with it.