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Opinion: The Online Student Has Taken Education For Granted

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The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has coerced us to adopt new ways and techniques to cope up with its adversities. Every human soul is trying its best to minimise its adverse impacts on diverse aspects of human society by creating new ways of living and performing daily routine activities which otherwise would have come to a standstill due to the ongoing pandemic.

As it has been said, necessity is the mother of all inventions; obviously, we would not have been introduced to new tactics and approaches to life in the absence of this pandemic. But it is a common know fact that no new invention comes sans its side effects in the absence of its proper management and utilisation, so was the case with new methods and ways of living formulated during this period.

empty classroom
Representative Image.

Likewise with other departments, our education department shifted to new methods of the teaching-learning process. Besides making the common masses and traditional students aware of the new mobile teaching apps, they were introduced to many new terms of online teaching.

Now our traditional classroom teaching has moved online, and accordingly, our common student has transitioned to an “online student“.

Our new online student is vastly different from the old common student in many aspects as they are availing the benefits of modern scientific technology in their learning process by attending online classes through various mobile teaching applications, appearing in online examinations and finally achieving the goal of promotion from one class to another even though they haven’t entered the school premises due to closure of educational institutions from last two and half years.

This new worldwide group of students try to attain knowledge from their teachers through electric signals flowing into their smartphones through multiple teaching applications instead of attending real classrooms.

The standards of intelligence and punctuality for online students are different from those of traditional students. Among traditional students, the intelligent, punctual, bright and regular students attend their classrooms daily without any failure. They remain alert in the classroom and listen to their teachers attentively and note the important points of the lecture.

Further, they give a satisfactory answers to the questions asked to them by their teachers.

But these parameters have changed for online students. Now cunningness is preferred over intelligence. Moreover, those students who remain virtually present in online classes instead of being absent in reality are marked as punctual and brighter.

Now, the glowing green signal before their name on the mobile application is marked as their presence even though they may be enjoying other activities like online gaming, chatting or video watching. Weak internet signal or malfunctioning of teaching applications is made an excuse for not being able to answer the questions and miscommunication between student and the teacher.

The duty of remaining alert in the online classes is shared between the online classmates in different subjects so that other fellows may enjoy secondary activities or enjoy an unconscious slumber without any disturbance. The old traditional students were well aware of moral values and used to maintain discipline in the classroom, but our new online students have forgotten the lessons of morality and try their utmost to create a mess in the online classrooms.

They are totally incontinent for the teacher as the teaching-learning process is virtual.

A few weeks ago, a video had gone viral on social media where a group of male students was seen making strange voices in an online classroom as soon as the teacher was trying to start the lecture while a group of female students was seen singing Kashmiri folk songs in an online classroom.

Despite repeated attempts by the teacher, the students were totally uncontrollable for the teacher, and finally, he had to end the class. Such videos are vivid examples of modern online students creating indiscipline in the online classrooms.

When we look at the homework performance of the online students, the scene is totally different from that of traditional students. Traditional students used to complete their homework individually and prepare their notes secretly so that no other student could compete with them.

Representative Image.

But our new online students are friendly with each other in this matter and just one hardworking student completes their homework and shares its images with their other mates. But, to the teachers’ surprise, every student appears in the next online class with their readymade homework, which totally lacks individuality and originality.

Finally, our traditional students had to work hard for appearing in the annual examinations. They had to study 24 hours a day to secure high marks, but securing marks in online examinations is the easiest thing for modern online students. As soon as the teacher sends a link for the question paper to the online students, they swiftly search for the answers on Google and their textbooks and send back their answer scripts before the allotted time.

At this stage, some online students find themselves lucky enough as their family members are much cooperative with them in this connection and help them in searching the answers on the internet and later feel proud for their collaborative success.

Online copying in the examination and sharing photocopies of their answer scripts through various media is a friendly gesture of online students towards their fellow beings.

We all are aware of the fact that the pandemic has not ended yet and it will take a long time for the re-opening of educational institutions. So currently, there is no scope for a real teaching-learning process and we have to go with virtual methods. Our traditional students have to remain in the absentia mode for the time being due to the pandemic and we have to go with the online students.

But a question arises. How long will our online students make fun of the online teaching-learning process and when will they be serious about it? How long will they go in their life with their easy earned success? They need to take this process in a serious tune and inculcate and redevelop their moral values.

Discipline and mutual interaction in online classes are a must for a smooth and fruitful online teaching-learning process; otherwise, all this is going in vain. They have to awaken their consciousness and be honest with their online studies. They must bear in mind that they are cheating themselves in the long run and ruining their career by cheating in online classes and examinations.

Our online students must remember that the future examinations of their lives are not as easy as their online examinations. Rather they have to work hard to be successful in their lives as they are living in a world where competition is the talk of every tongue.

The author is a member of the JKIFTS Columnists Council and can be reached at rather1294@gmail.com.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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