Across the world, COVID-19 pandemic has affected irrespective of their wealth caste or gender. It affected everyone equally from an infant to the oldest person in the world, It has touched everyone negatively and except for business tycoons it gave more wealth well that is very paradoxical. Well coming back to the issue, with the pandemic the education sector also has changed. From the walls of educational institutions students are confined into the screens of mobile phones and computers. In a way they are jailing their thoughts and brain into screens. Apart from giving education, to make someone as a great social being the role of educational institutions is very large.
But the question is whether that process is happening through the online classes which came as a part of the new normal which many are struggling to cope up with. Online class is obviously an alternative during this pandemic period but how much learning is happening in students is questionable and the authorities are not looking in that part. The research studies already proved that children spending more time in front of screens which emits blue light have the great potential of affecting their overall physical and mental health and during now children are spending a lot of time in front of these screens which is going to create a lot of long run problems. In India, it has been almost 5 months since the online classes are going on. How many problems in matters of mental and physical health are happening in students and what all activities are there to identify these problems well no one has an answer to that and the online classes are going on and on.
When small children especially upto upper primary use mobile phones and internet there is a big chance of them deviating to the matters which are bad for them because internet is very addictive and it has a lot of bad information as well in it. Parents cannot their children all the time and there is a risk of children misusing their digital devices which they are using in the name of online class. When there is no way of going to the traditional pattern for the learning in the nearby future and even when the children are at home it is debatable that how much time a child is getting to spend with their family when the children have to sit in front of the screens to attend class and after that they have to finish their class works as well and there are complaints raising that the work loads have increased with the online class is turning many students into mental stress which is a bad sign of the current education.
There courses like engineering, medical fields, lab courses which needs practical learning and with online classes it is not possible and if the online class is going to be for a long run, it is quite confusing how these students will handle the real life situation because they lack experience. When students are writing the exam they are open to the possibility where they can copy answers and this is against the ethical part of education but the students will change into a mindset of thinking copying something is quite okay for a student. All these elements are helpful to decrease the quality of our education. In the Indian context and for example even if the Kerala is standing top in the lists mentioning the educational achievements but at the same time there are people hailing to poor economic backgrounds and for the students coming from these backgrounds hold a possibility of where online classes are becoming a financial liability because to buy the digital devices and to recharge the data packs there is a lot of money involved and there is no such financial aids are not available right now. There is a chance of students taking the money out from the money which they need for the living.
So the new normal education is paving way to economic instability as well among many families. Because of the above mentioned factor there is a possibility of students stopping their education because they are not able to afford it. So addressing all these issues are the main challenge before the authorities and educational institutes. Online classes create a possibility of changing the students mind into a very narrow one because there exists little social interaction in online class because they are miles apart muting their audio and camera making introverts mote introverts and the extroverts suffering problems of not interacting. It is a weird situation. When all these problems associated with the students are there we cannot shadow the teachers as well. Recently everyone must have seen the video of a teacher getting embarrassed by students just because he could not figure out how a Zoom app functions. It was a sad situation and it was a snapshot of a bigger picture that is surely existing among teachers who are not able to adapt to the new normal.
In a person’s life a teacher creates a great impact like the parents and that is why we say “Mata Pita Guru Daivam” in the Indian context. But because of the online class during this pandemic period there is no face to face interaction and there is a wide possibility of cutting away the connection between teacher and a student which is not at all good for the over all growth of a student as well as for a teacher and this is not about learning but also about the personal growth too. With the pandemic we must think about the changing education as well because there should be a good education for the people who are supposed to lead the world tomorrow. Let us all hope that this bad time shall too pass and there will be more bright future where children will again taste the joy of going to schools and colleges and where they will dream and talk without the masks and fearing another person.