By Aniel Mukhiijaa, Principal, Hari Singh Public School Rewari, Haryana.
With the surge of pandemic situation schools came up with a substitute of face to face teaching and learning process and that is online education. Though online education is quite popular in developed countries for higher education but it was not introduced in the schools in india. With the advent of online education for schools people have started talking about its merits and demerits or the side effects of online teaching and learning.
If i talk about merits then, of course, it has proved a good solution to connect with the students and continue their education/course to some extent. For senior classes it is giving good results. For junior students also with the blend of story based cartoons, colorful animations and precise study material it has proven its importance. It has given an opportunity to the teachers to learn something new and update themselves with technology as per the need of the hour. Those who are techno savvy will survive and others will get eliminated if not changed. It has come with the comfort of home and mood of the child, means there is flexibility of selecting study time.
Now when i talk about demerits each parent has a different point of view, online education is not a complete substitute as all the students are not of same caliber to grasp the things and comprehend them equally, they say that it is a makeshift arrangement to extract the fees from the pockets of parents. Availability of the gadgets and network required to study online is also a big issue in a country like india where infrastructure is to be developed. The mode of communication and some apps are not safe for live classes as it is reported to hack data from mobile and computers. Face to face or chalk and talk method of teaching has great impact on students where tutor can make a direct contact with a learner which is not possible with online teaching.
Besides all these demerits doctors, educational and psychological experts have a different kind of fear related to online teaching. They say that sitting in front of computers or using mobiles for a long time is not only harmful for their eyesight but it is also very dangerous for physical and mental health. During lockdown and pandemic situation physical activities have come to a halt and they are always under pressure with the syllabus and the completion of the course otherwise they will lag behind.
What i think is that of course with the need of the hour we have to make changes in our system and adjust accordingly and this time has given us an opportunity to learn something new keeping in mind the unexpected future conditions. For teachers this is a time to update themselves with technology and different creative methods of teaching and developing online lessons which will help them in classes later on. For students this the time to become an independent learner and for parents they have to motivate their children, sit with them and discuss the ups and downs in the life we have to face and how to fight. They must ensure that their child takes a regular break during classes and does some other creative activity to come out of this traumatic situation. Schools also have to frame a proper schedule of giving lessons and online classes to students which does not stunt their natural growth. Just to complete syllabus and to be in competition with other schools they should not overburden the students.