Present Scenario of Dwindling Education: A Gift of Corona Virus & Our Online Education

14/09/2021

Education is the key to success more powerful than the sword. In order to destroy the economy of any country or to wipe it out completely, drop/ destroy the standard of education in this country, the country will perish automatically. The decline of knowledge is the decline of the society and hence that of a country or a nation. If you turn off the light of knowledge of any nation, you can destroy that nation without an atomic bomb. We all know that global epidemic Covid-19, rouse up as a plague in the last days of 2019 in China that woke up and spread to the whole world. It has changed the world and its effects are visible in almost all sectors and have also profound effect on the education sector. In view of the deteriorating situation due to surge of covid-19 cases, educational institutions were among the first to close and the schools which were closed for only fifteen days are still closed.
Thus education sector which was already in shambles is the most affected by this epidemic. In order to continue with teaching learning process, some special measures were taken within no time and instead of sitting in the classroom and listening to the teacher's lecture, answering questions directly teaching learning process was subjected to online. No doubt we started online education but the process of online education went on without any review and planning. We did not accessed and reviewed the required facilities for it. The Internet situation should have been reviewed first and accessed as how strong and powerful internet signal is available. In most remote areas, the Internet is either not available at all or the signals are very weak. Due to this situation, most good students could not get proper online education and thus suffered badly whereas some other students who have been reckless throughout the year in the class have taken the advantage of online exams and jumped to the next class with flying marks and the majority succeeded without the exams last year.
Now since it has been almost one and a half year to online teaching learning process it is now analyzed that since online classes was a new trend as such, more than half of the children could not understand it, and most of those who understood little bit of it, lived in areas where the Internet facility is negligible. Students who had good internet speed would enroll themselves in the class and text each other, while some students would join the class and get enough sleep. And yes, those students whose microphone was used to be on unmated mode, used to take the person in another world, there would be abuses from somewhere, sometimes there would be crying, some time strange sounds, sometimes there would be calls for bread and tea and some time for pastries. In this online education system, students may have received little education, but one of the benefits of this education system is that they have been able to get expensive mobile phones. What happened next on the pretext of online reading, the students used to be on Tik Tok, YouTube Facebook etc. Even intelligent students who used to be good in their class room studies did not touch the books.
Educational institutions were about to go offline from last month, but the third wave of corona virus is likely to intensify which again rendered only educational institutions to close. It is a pity and a moment of reflection for us that the students should have raised up against the closure of institutions instead they were busy chanting slogans for the survival of the corona virus. Later, when it came time to take the exam, the students were a little more confident when they heard about the online exams. In order to succeed in the exams with good marks, the children worked hard to find the ways to copy and telephone calls intensified among all the students and finally a place is arranged where the speed of internet is good. On the day of the paper, all the students would go there and solve the paper and pray for Google Uncle which usually help them in solving the question paper.
Now after a long period of almost 18 months, when the educational institutions are partially reopened, and expected to open fully after 100% Vaccination process, there is a glimmer of hope that the children will learn something. But maybe the Corona virus is just waiting for the educational institutions to open so that it could go to school with all the other students and will force again a shutdown of educational institutions. Education will then again shift to online mode and the students from whom the smart phones would have been snatched due to regular classes will get the opportunity to take them back.
Here I would like to ask you a question whether during the first, second or third wave of Corona, when the educational institutions were closed, did your children stayed at home? Ofcourse your answer will be a big no. Because as soon as the educational institutions were closed, the children picked up bat and ball and ran to the grounds, where no care was being taken of SOPs. The children who used to stay clean all day were seen playing in the mud all the day and at the same time hugging, mingling, running, quarrelling with friends arrived from different localities was a routine. Those students who were little bit mature or used to be afraid of parents mostly visit friends or relative's home instead of ground and the Corona virus neither used to go there nor ever it entered in the grounds. But I wonder, or perhaps I think someone has taught this virus and guided it to enter in the educational institutions and completely eradicate their already weak education system.
What can be the future of these students, who are studying online and passing the exams by means of copying. For sure they will be involved in various crimes, because they are not getting anything to learn from this system of education, then how will they compete with others as no one is taking online education seriously, whether it is good or incompetent student. Teachers are delivering online lectures, and children are listening to songs keeping their mobile phones aside and even some time enjoy a good sleep. If the situation remained as such, I am afraid that in future employment advertisements from the good recruitment and placement agencies will put a note in the eligibility column "Pass outs of 2020-21, 2021-22 need not to apply".
Yes, Now I am sure most people here will object to me as who am I to talk against the online system of education. Many will argue that the online education system is best and it is the students who are not taking it seriously and are responsible for spoiling their carrier. If this is going on in your mind then I will just ask you, if students can study at home like this then why you people are wasting so much money on books and high fee of Schools and tuitions. Here I will add to your knowledge that no student can understand a thing unless he pays full attention to it. The teacher can make things to understand well in the class, can ask questions in the classroom, can keep an eye on the children, can test them, which he can never do during online classes. In the end, all I can say is that now the students are much sensible who can protect themselves and thus Educational institutions should be opened completely for in class teaching learning.
(Assistant Professor Chemistry (Selection Grade) At Govt. Degree College Chatroo Jammu and Kashmir and can be reached at joinchemistry@gmail.com)

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