Covid-19 has bothered every sphere of the world, from the economy, employment, job securities, and medical advancement to the world’s smallest sectors. There is no sector or field which is left unaffected by it. People are tensed not only because of this virus but also due to the instability happening in life. There is no job security, increasing financial problems, the future is uncertain and many other things are putting pressure on people’s mental health.
One sector which is equally adversely affected is Academics. Teachers and students are continuing their classes and exchanging study materials through online modes after all the institutions were closed due to Covid-19. Online teaching and learning tried to help teachers, students, and eventually, academic institutions go back to their normal life and academic routines.
But the question now arises, is this privilege of modern technology of online mode accessible to everyone? Because this changeover from on-campus to online mode is not easygoing.
E-learning is not, ofcourse, without faults. Technical problems, compatibility issues with operating systems, browsers, powerful network connection and the illusion that every student has a smartphone, laptop and reliable electricity connections are some of the stumbling blocks of the online mode of teaching. Due to this, students who are not privileged enough lag behind their privileged classmates. Thus, it adds societal pressure on them and develops more disparity between learners of different economic strata.
Another problem is that many parents are sceptical of online mode because it is something new that they cannot imagine. Female students on whom there is a pressure of domestic chores (because of our patriarchal society) are most likely to be adversely affected. Also, some families do not take female education seriously.
Despite all these, there are recommendations for online examinations. But what authorities and decision-makers are ignoring is the pressure they are putting on students. Online classes were not as effective as they were imagined to be. Due to network problems, online classes of short duration could not happen properly, then how can exams be done?
There are disadvantages of connectivity problems, facilities of the laptop or smartphones and the environment of studies in the house. There are chances of technical and connectivity issues during online examination for students of marginalised strata and who belong to rural spheres. Students might get a year back and eventually drop out with such a probability, especially female candidates, as their marriages are prioritised.
These recommendations of online classes are just elitist ideas, beneficial to privileged candidates only and, thus, are means of creating hierarchy and exclusion in education. There is a focus on completing academic sessions, but what is not taken into account is that this leads nowhere and is increasing pressure on students’ psyche and mental health.