As the world is dealing with pandemic, the online education has become the new normal of the times. Earlier was the time where Digital devices were often used by children for fun and they were being scolded by their parents and teachers for using them endlessly as they were a source of hindrance in their studies. But now the time has come where parents are themselves giving access to their children to use these digital devices so that their children don’t get left behind in their studies. What an irony is seen in such unusual times.
Many parents have even done a lot of expenditure on Buying laptops and Internet devices. Teachers are taking online classes. Even they had to incur the expenses so that the students’ education doesn’t get hampered.
Almost everything is going smoothly. But the main question arises is that is everyone getting access to online education? Is this online education promoting or hampering the students’ performance? Various aspects need to be kept in mind while adopting this new normal. We all know that a coin has two sides- positive and negative.
The same goes with the online education. It too has a positive side which is indeed creating a positive impact but it too has a negative side which is suppressing many. Some have beliefs that online education is the way of enhancing students’ performance. Some believe that online education in its manner does not offer students a good choice to enhance their learning as well as skills. All this can be well understood by looking at a variety of aspects that follow as well contradict this system of online education.
But before moving forward, few more important question needs to be looked upon i.e. Do online education in anyway goes against the basic norms of Article-14 i.e. Right to equality?Are there any steps taken by government to remove the disparities in online education or particularly in education system? Well to this question for National educational policy and some online platforms by government may be the answer. Let’s have a close look on all the aspects which we discussed above and some more facts and figures so that we can dive ourselves more into the topic.
ADVANTAGES OF PROMOTING ONLINE EDUCATION
Undoubtedly, online education has a lot to offer that offline education i.e. classroom programs can’t offer. Conveniently studying while sitting anywhere at anytime is the major advantage. There are many students who can’t attend college due to their personal problems. But online education offers them knowledge conveniently.
For school going students it can act as a way of taking education in such a manner that they can also do part-time jobs so that apart from the theory classes they can build upon more skills. As we all know that skill education is the current and the urgent need of the society. This new normal can usher a lot of help in it.It also helps in saving money. In other words it is cost efficient.
Travelling expenses, uniform expenses, school/college infrastructure expenses and many more. The expense list is endless. Diversifying yourself is another feature that online education offers.While sitting at home you can learn at your pace a lot of courses. There are some websites that offer free as well as paid courses such as Coursera, Edx, and Udemy etc. In this you can hone your skills as well learn some new. Also you can get individual attention in your studies while sitting at home. The above discussed benefit indicates that online education can help a person in lot of ways. And this becomes of the utmost importance when we know that the world is coping with the pandemic. Schools are shut.
No classroom programs are going on. Parents are scared of sending their kids to schools/colleges because of the fear of catching virus. But their fears are gone because they know their children education is going on. Way of teaching has changed. Rest remains the same.
DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE EDUCATION
No doubt that online education has offered a lot to many. But it has also taken their basic right of education from many. Here the main focus goes to the poor and rural people. A rural person has low connectivity issues and there are many other problems like lack of access to digital devices and even proper internet connection. Poor people even don’t have their basic education. How could they know about accessing online education?
This online education comes with a lot of disadvantages. In schools/colleges you learn how to be self-disciplined, you learn how to cope up with your surroundings, and you learn how to be dynamic. But this kind of education offers you such kind of environment where you will isolate yourself at a known place, learn at your own pace and no one knows whether you are learning to learn or you are learning to have fun with
gadgets. You could become static. Sitting at one place there will be no physical exercise on your part. You will be like a statue at your own place. In classroom program there is a teacher who constantly looks at your performance. In case you are doing any mistake you will be at that time corrected by your teacher. Another feature is that if you are an online classroom student you are definitely going to have less social interactions. Online education might be suitable for some courses but it does not fit for every type of topic. It can provide you theory but practical based learning can only be provided when you are yourself in the working field. At most of the hours you sitting in front of the laptops or carrying a phone in your hand. Result of both is that you are damaging your eyes in some way or the other. It definitely harms your wealth as we all know about a popular saying i.e. “Health is wealth”.
Also what if teachers are not enough skilled. Sorry to say, but yes this is the harsh reality of which we are aware but pretend that we don’t know anything. It is not denying that this is for the teachers a new learning experience in which they are too trying to cope up. But what if teachers are only learning how they can devote their proper skills as they do in offline teaching. This is definitely hampering the students learning experience.
What we all are adopting is messy online education not a proper online education. This we are talking about private schools and colleges. Has anyone thought that what would be the case going on with Government institutions? We all are very well aware that many Government institutions don’t have many resources. Their offline education seems a bit difficult to cope up. Question arises that can they provide the quality education to their students in these pandemic times? And the ones who have resources they are not utilized properly.
But whatever the case may be the result are low academic standards. Generation may be somewhere getting education but not quality education. “Quality matters not quantity”
DOES IT GO AGAINST THE BASIC NORMS OF RIGHT TO EQUALITY UNDER ARTICLE 14?
Article 14 of the Constitution of India states that, “The state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India”. But do this law really holds good for education. Is education, particularly online education accessible to all? The possible and the obvious answer to this question is a big NO. Online education is reaching only to two kinds of people.
One who have access to internet and particularly good internet. So what government should focus is that they should provide such a mechanism so that children could carry on their studies. And the other who have the ability to pay fees in schools. Because some schools are constantly focusing on earning money. They even are forcing the parents to pay the fees else their child will not get access to online education.
Coercing someone to pay fees especially when we know that in this times of Covid-19 businesses have shut down and there’s not easy availability of employment. This is not fair. Feel pity for those who can access internet but don’t have enough fees to access these online classes. But clearly it goes against the fundamental right. Education is a basic human right.
At one hand one talks about the promoting the basic human rights but on the other hand when it comes to promoting no further action is taken. But one thing that everyone will agree to that is the Education is the tool which can create the best possible impact and lack of it could destroy the nation as much as could a nuclear bomb would do. So why not take a step towards the better online education.
ONLINE EDUCATION IS A NEW NORMAL OF THE TIMES- A MYTH
Many believe that online education is something that is new. Means this is something that we haven’t seen before. But that is not true. It’s a myth that we all have kept in our mind. Online education was going on before too. But the basic difference in today’s online education and the online education in past was that it was never promoted in such a way. Covid-19 acted as a major force in promotion of online studies. When this was predicted that Corona virus is not going to end soon, a major think popped in mind was that will Corona virus affect the education too. This was the major concern for all.
Whether it may be our Government, school management, various educational think tanks or parents. This thought haunted them. But the solution was found out. And that was online education. The government then came up with a thought of broadcasting educational channels on various DD channels and on free DTH.
Various platforms such as Swayam prabha, Diksha, E-PG pathshala and many more. Also they came up with the idea of libraries where students could access e-book resources. One of those is National digital library of India. Many private players also came into being like Vedantu, BYJU’s etc. So can’t we take step towards it so that we could make the promotion of online education successful? We can make. Just a little effort is needed. Also it needs to be noted that some of these platforms which are being discussed above are not new. These are from the times. Gradually they paced. So how we can say that online education is the new normal of the times?
So by the discussion above, we can conclude that obviously online education can’t replace the traditional mode of education. But it doesn’t imply that online education is not worth. It is definitely a worth if we properly utilize the resources. We need to take a step so that both the traditional as well as virtual mode of education goes hand by hand. We need not to stick on a particular mode of education. At one side we need to take best traditional approaches in such a way that virtual mode of online education goes smoothly. In this way both virtual as well as traditional education will get promoted. And our country will move onto the path of Digital India.