Online Education: Boon or Bane

Considering the kind of situation we are facing globally, education plays a vital role as it forms the very base of any nation. It is credible for the financial, civil, and political expansion and development of society in general. Anybody can attain the success they want if they have the power of pedagogy and relevant skills. 

Do you even know, according to UNESCO’s data about our country there are about 12 million children who do not go to school? 

And post the pandemic, we have no data that reflects the true picture about the number of children devoid of educational resources even after being enrolled into schools. It is largely because the entire virtual ecosystem that educational institutions have scaled up to has left many stranded.

After a lot of struggle, society has a new way of learning that is Online Learning. The situation of the pandemic heightened the value of online education. It is a form of learning that is possible only through gadgets like mobile phones, computers, laptops, and such. Apart from the gadgets, one also needs to have some stable internet connections. 

POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF LEARNING ONLINE:

Online education puts forward some encouraging advantages for students: 

1. It has the flexibility in keeping pace with lessons. 

2. Through online learning, there are no commuting or parking conflicts, and it maintains social distance. 

3. Students find the compliance of assignments susceptible and helpful. 

4. Children are more inclined to learn with peer groups, share their challenges and even conflicts! 

But like every coin has two sides, there are certain disadvantages to it. 

1. Virtual learning may forfeit the face-to-face relationship between the educator and students. 

2. The children miss out on connecting with the topic in real-time that were taught using traditional methods of teaching. 

3. To find access to the essential technology is problematic, and the availability of necessary technical support becomes questionable.

 4. Also, some officials and educators who do not understand the workload may illustrate a negative attitude toward online education, which further demotivates the students.

Is online Learning the Future of Education?

Online teaching is here to last for a long time. Many students prefer the online classroom since it offers flexibility and comfort. With the accumulation of information and knowledge, students must become lifelong learners in today’s world. Here, virtual education plays a significant role in assisting someone to be a self-learner. 

With enhanced software, hardware, and Internet access, more options to acquire knowledge become handy. As a student becomes more familiar with technology, the future of online education will continue to grow. The online degree programs will become more widely accepted as they become a more common practice. 

What is the future of online education in a country like India? 

In developing countries like India, the internet is still not a commonly available possession for millions. The urgency of online schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown has brought before us the strong difference between the urban class students and underprivileged students, who do not have smartphones or internet connections to bear up with online learning. 

In the slum areas, many children borrow a phone from their neighbors. Some families have smartphones but can not afford to buy internet packages. The children are dependent on a borrowed phone to attend an online class for a couple of hours. All these children face this kind of hardship daily, and we don’t have any solution for it. 

What can be the solution?

E-learning requires a strategy upswing from the government.

Universities and Boards are blown by the break in the academic year due to the inequality in the distribution of infrastructure and are surveying for options to attain their yearly curriculum. 

1. Introducing and integrating these solutions will certainly be a challenge for India. It is hence essential that the Government, in conference to all state governments and stakeholders immediately roll out a detailed policy that lays down the fundamentals of e-Learning. This will fill the gap in the existing system of education by providing necessary infrastructure in the nooks and corners of the nation.

2. Referring and Adopting policies of different countries and surveys to pinpoint the real challenges are needed. The institutions should focus on practical solutions rather than hypothetical assumptions to make education accessible.

3. To formally collaborate with ed-tech firms for e-learning. To help the children learn using all the new technology-based modules by which they can easily understand the concepts online.  

4. Incorporating Public-Private Partnership for free internet connections using India’s vast IT hallway and technological prowess can enable the populace and private area to roll out e-learning solutions and fasten the method through its deep hierarchies of telecom services which will help students in linking the gap and time lost due to the outbreak. 

As education is vital for every child and each child has the right of having it, we should take the necessary steps to ensure it remains accessible. Every measure to simplify the system and create an ecosystem that empowers the children with equitable resources has to be worked for.  Rather than blaming the Government, we should help others by extending the help that we are capable of.

By- Isha Sharma

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Published by UPAY - उपाय

UPAY ...An initiative to educate Under Privileged Children from Slums & Footpaths by a group of young Engineers, Doctors , Students and senior citizens

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