It is rightly said, “Change is the only Constant.” And one such change or revolution has come in the field of education due to the coronavirus lockdown. It is not a completely undesirable change for India. The talks of digitalising education have been in the air for a long time. Statistics show that even before Covid-19, there was already high growth in education technology, whether it be language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools or online learning software.
Despite all these statistics about e-learning making its mark in India, we still can’t deny that without a lockdown, a country such as India, with approximately 60.45 % agrarian population and minimum access to electricity and the internet, would have never shifted to e-learning. Apps such as BYJU’s, Un-academy, Zoom, etc. would have just remained complementary to the real-time offline classroom teaching if not for the pandemic. One might argue that now, 4G is accessible in all the parts of India, but the question is, do you really believe that? And I’m sure your answer will be NO.
Moreover, ever heard about 20-30 hours of power cuts in Indian villages, towns and even cities? Ever compared the prices of 4G packs to the average per capita income of India? I’m sure the luring articles on online education didn’t mention that. In addition to that, we observed a decrease in the overall efficiency of the students. For the teachers as well, it was difficult to transit to online learning over a night. And of course, we cannot forget how many ‘bright students’ with great marks were discovered when the results of the exams conducted online were revealed. In my opinion, online learning can complement classroom teaching, but cannot replace it.
Nevertheless, we should applaud all our teachers’ efforts in adapting to online teaching over a span of night!