The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything overnight including education which came to a sudden halt. Schools had to opt for online classes and now, parents are now questioning the efficacy of these virtual classes and if they are actually helpful in making students understand the concepts to score good marks.
Online classes give a chance to the students to learn and be productive. And since these sessions require self-motivation and time management skills, they help in inculcating these skills in the students and gain knowledge while sitting in the comfort of their homes. Classes are interactive, free from interruptions and the teachers are able to share information in the form of videos, slides, and photos which they wouldn’t be able to do in the offline classes.
These classes are flexible, more convenient and can accommodate large numbers of students at a time which has lessened the burden of the teachers. Reduced distractions, increased involvement of students by participating in discussions, easy trackable learning and record of attendance has become a lot easier for the teachers to teach.
However, it has its disadvantages too. These virtual classes are actually very difficult to comprehend and conduct for senior teachers. Some students do not have laptops or smartphones or an internet connection. Also, it is hard to give personal attention to each and every child with a class of more than 70 children. Moreover, tests and exams are hard to conduct as there cannot be a proper check on the students.
Sitting in front of the computer all day strains the eyes and due to long hours, the students have absolutely no time for completing their homework and assignments. Apart from these problems, the extracurricular activities are missing in the online sessions. Basic notions of discipline, responsibility, respect and regard for others, and self-independence can only be taught in the school.
But since it is the new normal we will have to live with it. We will need to improvise taking into consideration suggestions from both teachers and students.
Harshita Prashar is a class XII student of Carmel Convent, Sector 9, Chandigarh.