Diya Chaudhuri 8th September, 2020
Online classes in India (Source: Diya Chaudhuri)
The National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) conducted a survey and found that more than one in every three students feel that online classes are difficult to keep up with. Following the spread of COVID, educational institutions like schools and colleges suspended conventional classes to ensure social distancing and have turned to e-learning to keep the academic session going.
However, this shift towards online learning causes numerous challenges and tends to exclude or harm certain groups more than others—based on the nuances involved. On a basic level, shifting to online learning can have different difficulties depending on whether it is a government or private institute. There might also be differences based on the age group or the kind of educational course.
The biggest issue that comes with online learning is the widening of the digital gap between different socio-economic classes. ‘Digital India’ is not fully equipped to handle digital education as of now. Several suicide cases have come up in the last few months due to the inability to deal with the stress of online education or not being able to access devices like phones, tablets, computers, along with a stable internet connection.
Even for students who do have access to the internet and phones or laptops, they often find the classes disrupted due to internet issues and frequent power cuts. It also plays a major impact on their mental health. They find it difficult to pay attention to class and grasp the information. Excessive screen time may lead to vision impairment, headaches, bad posture, and issues like insomnia.
There is a loss of personal connection between the teacher and the students and the teaching often feels too one-sided. Teachers who are not very gadget-friendly find it extremely difficult to conduct classes and evaluate tests and assignments online. They also have to put in more effort to hold the attention of the students behind the screens.
The new National Education Policy (NEP) focuses on preventing and reducing the cases of drop-outs. Unless better arrangements are made for the accessibility of these resources on a wide-scale, there might be repercussions in the future.
(Sources: Telegraph India, Indian Express, Hindustan Times, India Today)
Edited by Varun Vyas Hebbalalu