The Pandemic: Opportunity for Learning
In December 2020, coronavirus started spreading rapidly across the world. Education was one of the most affected sector because of this pandemic. Billions of students have been affected by the school closure ever since the covid-19 pandemic started. The learning process is either lost or disrupted during the initial stage of the pandemic. The 1st school closure was declared by Magnolia in February 2020. Around 31 March, 20 days after WHO declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic, most of the schools globally have been closed either partially or fully. Ever since then, the dropout rate of students has been touching the skies. To minimize the prejudicial effect of covid-19, Institutes are continuously trying to find alternative ways of providing education.
Problems during the pandemic: The rainy season is not the same for everyone, so does the pandemic. It has hit differently to people from different classes. All activities including learning had been put on hold as schools were closed too. Students across the globe were suffering a lot because of the pandemic. All the pedagogical guilds have opted for an online mode of learning after a while. Students were familiar with the technological aspects, but the teachers were not so handy with this very new medium. Earlier it was the traditional and chalk-talk way of teaching. To some extent this mode was effective, i.e. in medical courses, there are a variety of different subjects that need to have physical classes as practical for those subjects can’t be done online.
Choosing Online teaching was a ruckus at the start but later on, both the teachers and students were slowly getting handy for this digital mode. Also, they got time to learn something new every day as well. But we can’t deny the fact that in India, the reach of smartphones is limited to just 50% of the total population. In rural areas of India, there is an enormous amount of population not having enough resources for attending online classes. Also, in outskirt areas of India, people don’t have separate devices for every child. So, if classes of two children were at the same time, only one of them would be able to attend the class, the other one would have to wait.
Learning Opportunities in the Pandemic: Learning processes during the pandemic have mostly shifted to online mode. And since most of the students were at their home because of the lockdown imposed, they have got plenty of time to learn about new skills without even disturbing their core studies. These skills could be learning computer programming languages, foreign languages, editing photos and videos and musical instruments, etc. in their free time. These skills could be very helpful to the students in their lives.
Pandemic and Educational Tools: The pandemic surely hit everyone across the globe so bad that everything was put on hold. But this also made the institutes shift from the traditional way of teaching to an online mode of learning. Schools and Universities have started conducting online classes for their students. Using online mode for study has opened gates of unlimited ways to gain knowledge including global learning. This also created the need for a learning management systems for institutes. But choosing the perfect LMS was a big task. The options available in the market for LMS were high on cost and not so user-friendly.
The gap between the world’s digital needs and the digital reality of the people: Learning processes must go on, talking about current scenarios, the world’s digital needs are very high. People from all around the world need separate devices to cope-up with today’s needs. The technological penetration in rural areas is very less and the institutes that were able to afford these changes were also technologically advanced, thus those institutes were not that much affected by the pandemic. But the institutes who were not so technologically advanced suffered a great deal.
Conclusion: In an ever-changing world, it is important to look for new ways to learn something new every day. Online learning indeed gives us the time to learn something new but the standard of the core courses needs to be high. The pandemic provides many opportunities for learning our roles as citizens. The opportunity to be proactive and develop strategies for learning more. This pandemic has been an eye-opener for us, it showed us how much we were ready for a pandemic. Also, how much our government authorities were ready for the crisis. We must take this lesson and start improving every day.