Are coaching centers destroying the education of school kids ?

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I am sure most of us have been to coaching centers during our school days and also some of us joined such centers during our college days as well and such educational institutions became a mere part of our life. People blindly believe in this so called concept of coaching centers. They believe that coaching centers provide way more better education than schools and parents also want their children to focus more on their coaching centers than their schools.

But you must be thinking that when did coaching centers became this important ? Well only then when they started advertising their centers by making various promises regarding the student’s development. Parents also for the sake of their child’s improvement believed in such publicity. In order to make their child an ideal student parents invest a lot of money in coaching institutions. I don’t blame every coaching center for implementing such strategies to gather more students, there are certain well reputed coaching centers as well who actually focus on the child’s development but i also accept the fact that most of the coaching centers are in the motive of profit making and do not bother about the student’s education.

I agree some schools do not provide quality education due to which the students have to go to the coaching centers and it is absolutely okay to do so, but my question is, is it right for a 4 year child to invest his childhood in coaching centers ? as in today’s date going to coaching centers has become a trend , parents now have started forcing their little kids to go to a coaching center in order to stay ahead in school. Don’t you think schools are just enough for children with tender age ?

Coaching centers have forced students to depend on someone else to learn something new, students have now lost the capability to study or learn on their own. They fail to understand new subjects without the help of their coaching centers,they are now completely depend on their coaching centers for their education. Students now don’t believe in self study, and that’s the problem because self study is something which makes a student understand a topic but not just learn or by heart it.

Revisiting our school days: Memories We Miss

As we developed more seasoned, we perceived that our school years were the greatest long periods of our lives. School days are the greatest days since there is no work pressure, no worry about bringing in cash, and we have limitless opportunity to play and appreciate life as we pick.

I detested getting up toward the beginning of the day (which I actually do) and preparing for school, reviewing the entirety of the earlier day’s homework that was forced upon us every one of us. Consistently, I used to ponder internally, “Gracious, wow! When will I grow up and not need to stress over concentrating constantly? “.. However, at the present time, I’d effectively return to my grade school days, sit in my study hall, play flares and spasm tac toe with my buddies, and tattle about who really have crush on whom. I’m certain we have a billion different recollections from our school days; for what reason don’t we restore them on the spot?

Picture of school trip with teachers and students.
  • The adventure of getting another school uniform, covering books in earthy colored paper, and staying your favourite stickers on them.
  • Checking whether the teacher brings the appropriate response sheets after the test.
  • It is one of the undertakings offered to understudies that falls under the classification of The Most Daring Tasks. The ideal title for you is Khatron Ke Khiladi since you can open your lunch box and burn-through your food without the teacher taking note. You are accountable for the whole class. We as a whole anticipated the mid-day break since it gave us a break from contemplating and a chance to socialize. We additionally anticipated the break time eagerly when we realized we had our number one food in our lunch box.
  • Perhaps the main parts of education is social studies. We ordinarily bunked the social studies class avoided a few or the entirety of my homework since I’m a particularly good-for-nothing. Notwithstanding the schoolwork component, I’m certain the vast majority of us wanted for a too arrogant teacher to deal with and would leave us with a substitute teacher. Yaayyyy! Available energy was the most delightful thing that consistently happened to me.
  • We as a whole have accounts of times when we bothered our mates. We stimulated my pals and composing on their notebook to prod them, which by and large formed into a composing war. THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS!
  • At the point when companions are trapped amidst the most troublesome events, they can turn into the most interesting. Indeed, even the most ludicrous things sound interesting. Furthermore, when you have a parody amigo adjacent to you, it’s outlandish not to laugh.
  • We used to count the number of children and adhere to the passage that we needed to peruse to relinquish the strain of focusing on each section.
  • The most euphoric second was the point at which the last ringer rang and the time had come to pack things. They’re all prepared to get back with smiles and fun.
  • We are totally favored to have encountered these wonderful minutes, the hints of which will live on to us for eternity.
  • The last exam was constantly joined by euphoric sentiments, as though one were eased and flying through the air. Likewise, the staggering pleasure made it hard to decide the best strategy to celebrate.
  • Last-minute revision, regardless of whether for a short test or a last, most important test, consistently made my heart race.
  • Without these large events, school would be incomplete. We can recall how excited we were at the prospect of wearing traditional dress for the first time in school. We were all so psyched about the farewell we’d be holding the following year before even finishing 9th grade.
  • The school trips and picnics, which were full of fun and learning, are undoubtedly one of the fondest memories we have of our school years. We were bound by a set of rules, dos and don’ts as students. While these limits and constraints are crucial for a our overall growth, it is equally critical that they be allowed to explore and experiment on occasion.
  • The best part about our school life was our First Crush. You become a regular student at school exclusively to see your crush everyday. At the prize conveyance function, you may have gotten an regular student prize. Thank your crush for everything.

Looking back, we understand how uninformed we were in school and how many flaws we possessed. Our time in school, on the other hand, taught us the value of education, and we would not have the excellent friends, knowledge, experiences, or memories that we do now if it weren’t for our school years.

Despite the excitement that fills our days and years in high school, we also mature enough to recognize the value of time. Because we acquired dedication, hard effort, motivation, and self-actualization in high school, it is a fantastic chapter in our memory.

Conclusion

It is claimed that a person always remembers his or her first and last days of school. The first day a youngster remembers is when he or she arrived weeping. And the last day a pupil remembers is the day they leave school, crying once more. In my situation, I recall my first day of school and my last day of school vividly. The benefits of attending school are unquestionably numerous. School days are, without a doubt, the happiest of our lives.

SCHOOL SYSTEM IN INDIA

The Indian education system has made significant progress in recent years to ensure that educational opportunities are available to all segments of society. According to the 2009 Right to Education Act, schooling is free and compulsory for all children from the ages of 6 to 14. However, improvements are slow being implemented and disadvantaged groups may still not have adequate access to education. A high value is placed on education, as it ensures a stable future. All parents want their children to attend the best private English schools, but places are limited. The admission process is therefore highly competitive. Most Indian schools have a strong focus on academic subjects, with little scope for creativity and few or no extra-curricular activities. Traditional schooling methods tend to emphasize rote learning and memorization, rather than encouraging independent or creative thinking. There is a strong focus on examinations from an early age. This makes the atmosphere at Indian schools competitive. Many expats prefer to send their children to international schools. Others choose a more progressive Indian school that is less traditional in its teaching style.

The Education System

The Indian education system is structured as follows:

  • Pre-school: Education at this level is not compulsory. The Montessori system is especially popular at the pre-school level
  • Private playschools: Catering for children between the ages of 18 months and three
  • Kindergarten: This is divided into lower kindergarten (for three- to four-year-olds) and upper kindergarten (for four- to five-year-olds)
  • Primary school: First to fifth standard/class/grade (for six- to ten-year-olds)
  • Middle school: Fifth to eighth standard/class/grade (for 11- to 14-year-olds)
  • Secondary school: Ninth and tenth standard/class/grade (for 14- to 16-year-olds)
  • Higher secondary or pre-university: 11th and 12th standard/class/grade (for 16- to 17-year-olds). This is when students choose an academic area on which to focus
  • Undergraduate: A BA is a three-year degree. Specialised courses such as medicine and engineering can be longer
  • Postgraduate: A one-year course

Types of Schools

  • Public/government schools: Most schools in India are funded and run by the government. However, the public education system faces serious challenges including a lack of adequate infrastructure, insufficient funding, a shortage of staff and scarce facilities
  • Private schools: Since many government schools do not provide adequate education, Indian parents aspire to send their children to a private school. Some expats choose to send their children to private Indian schools
  • International schools: There are international schools in all major cities. They are attended by expat and Indian children
  • National open schools: Provide education up to the higher secondary level for children whose schooling has been interrupted and have been unable to complete formal education
  • Special-needs schools: Provide non-formal education and vocational training to children with disabilities

Curricula Systems

There are different systems depending on which level of government or academic organization sets the curriculum and standards for examinations. Schools are affiliated to one of these “boards”.

  • State government boards: Each state government has a board that sets the syllabus and key examinations
  • Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE): This is the most common curriculum in secondary schools. Standards are set by the national government for the syllabus and examinations for classes 9 to 12. There is a strong emphasis on math’s and science under this system
  • Council of Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE): This is more commonly known as the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE). The syllabus and exams are set by the CISCE, which is a private body. The subjects are more diverse and equal importance is given to arts, languages and sciences.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB): The curriculum is set by this non-profit educational foundation, which is recognized all over the world. It features a more innovative syllabus that focuses on all-round development rather than just academic subjects. Many international schools follow this curriculum. To find  schools offering the International Baccalaureate curriculum.
  • Cambridge IGCSE: Many international schools also offer the international Cambridge curriculum for 14- to 16-year-olds. The focus is on developing students’ skills in creative thinking and problem solving. For a list of schools in India following the Cambridge curriculum

For more background information, The British Council have published a detailed overview of the Indian School Education System

Fees and Enrolling at a School

As competition for places in good schools is high, parents must start the admission process at least six months prior to the start of the school year in June. An admission interview and/or exam is often required, even at the pre-school level. In addition, some schools admit students based on a list of preferential criteria such as place of residence, a sibling who is already enrolled at the school or a parent who is an alumnus. The documents required for admission include:

  • Application form and fee
  • The child’s birth certificate
  • Proof of residence (utility bill)
  • Report cards of previous school years (if applicable)

Annual fees can vary from Rs25,000 to Rs200,000 at the elite private schools. In addition to fees, a donation to the school is also usually expected, which can range from Rs50,000 to Rs100,000.

The ruthless approach of private institutes.

Right to education a right that is just on the paper. The pandemic situation makes access to education more challenging. The expensive fees of institutes, colleges, and tuition teachers along with the cost of digital gadgets. Make it a dream for the unprivileged child. Along with expensive gadgets, the additional cost of the internet is a matter of concern. This all thing make together cost of education very expensive. That is not affordable for all. The Pandemic hit makes our environment full of grief. Many lost their loved ones as well as earning hands. The question is in that situation how an innocent child pays for the education expenses. the answer is simple. The unprivileged child eventually drops out of school. People have to deal with financial pressure and subsequent anxiety. The pandemic has financially impacted the Indian middle and upper-middle class. Also many lost their jobs during the covid19 hit. The savings are diverted towards the needs. The reduction in earnings with the additional monthly cost of electricity, rent, and other bills make education cost impracticable.

Even during this time that certain private colleges are charging mercilessly an expensive amount of fees. This has put enormous pressure on families that sometimes have only one earning member per family. OR those who lost only earning members of the family. They have continued with their regular scheme of fees without issuing even the slightest bit of deduction. Even the government is not supporting the pitty family;
Even though government gives the judgment that Colleges should not charge more than the students’ tuition fees because they practically have online-only classes. Many students think it is not justified to charge students for the facilities they are no costs such as the library, sports grounds, canteen, etc. Some colleges have given ridiculous explanations about electricity bills, infrastructural cost and maintenance fees. But on the ground private institution didn’t care about this judgment and continue to charge whole fees from the students.
The colleges even ruthlessly pressuring the students and the parents to pay the semester fees on time, which would result in serious consequences if not paid. Private colleges are still looking at their profit margin even during a pandemic. The second wave hit more badly than the first wave. half of the population is covid positive. and admitted to the hospital looking for the medicine, oxygen cylinder, and ICU wards. The grief situation as well as the financial expense in the medical treatment. Given the scarcity of beds, private hospitals are charging a huge amount to the patients’ families. They have no option but to comply. The medical expenses are an additional burden that they have to bear. The bills keep adding and resulted in borrowing .and then never adding a circle of depth began. In such a sad situation how can a student pay his fees?

The students not only have to give compulsory examinations but they also have to pay with the financial expenses. Owing to this expense, students in the middle and lower strata of society are thinking to drop out the college. They are taking up whatever odd jobs they can get with little pay to support their family. Many of them had plans to pursue degrees post-graduation, but they have no option but to give up given the circumstances. In certain families with more than two children, it is becoming an increasing burden for the earning member to keep up with the rising expenses.

Lack of income source, lack of money, and diversion of savings towards basic needs as well as medical expenditures are some of the reasons stated by students facing such a crisis. Even authorities are not assisting the common people. Government is silent on this issue. That’s the reason many students give theatre life as being hopeless by committing suicide. Students want the college to either waive off the fees or provide them with some aid or assistance. The absolute lack of understanding for students has been reflected by these colleges. The mental fatigue and pain caused by this constant pressure are harmful to the well-being of students and parents as well.
It is unfair on the part of private colleges to seek their profits during the pandemic situation. Instead of charging such a high amount, they should either waive it off for students going through a financial crisis or charge them just the tuition fee. The students are already facing mental pressure and anxiety. There is a lack of accessibility to online education existing already. Some have had to purchase laptops, good mobile sets, and costly data packs to attend classes. To assume that everyone’s financial condition will remain unaffected because they belong to a privileged background is wrong and fallacious.
Some colleges are giving excuses that they have to pay to there teachers. Therefore they have to ask for money. But it is not convincing enough for the students who have time and again asked for a breakup of the fee structure. The students are helpless at this point. Even after approaching multiple authorities, they have not received a helpful solution. We can help these needy students through our small contribution. We common people should assist those who are in need.

Child Labor and the miserable fate of unprivileged children.

Youth is the future of the country. if this statement is true. Then why our country is not able to eradicate the sin of child labor? we encounter the term child labor every time. and take it very casually. That’s the reason it still prevails within our society. we can find children doing work in 

Every city, lane, and corner of society. We have been taught since our childhood that child labor is wrong. the future is in the hand of the young fellow who is making their livelihoods in factories, big industries, and local vendors and shops working endlessly.

Why this young fellow has to deprived of their education? why their childhood is stolen from them? why do they bear to do the work from such a young age? While other children are enjoying their childhood.Why some unprivileged kids have to work with heavy machinery and weapons under a huge risk to their health, just to earn a two-figure income to afford a single meal. children have to resort to working and earning, instead of learning. who is responsible for their worst situation? The ones who should be earning are the young and unemployed youth, who are sitting at home without any scope for jobs. who will take responsibility for them? The need of the hour is to provide these children education They are the future of India, and they deserve an education.

Child labor means exploitation of children through any work that deprives them of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially, or morally harmful.  The practice of child labor is a crime ad people employing it people are the biggest criminals of Indian society. Another reason why child labor is wrong is that by making a child work, we are decreasing the quality of our education system and spoiling the innocent life of that child.

These children are suffering in the dark world of mental and physical pressure. by allowing these children to work in our houses and societies, as by employing them we are spoiling their future and career.

child labor is the evil part of society and needs to be eliminated. 

By taking the labor of children we are spoiling the life of an innocent child for their cheap labor and our selfish motives. If we want to maintain the quality of the education system, we have to educate children, especially those from rural areas who are deprived of education, basic amenities, and other advancement opportunities.

For the progress of society and our economy, this evil practice needs to be removed. so that our economy will be balanced so flawlessly that there will be no cases of poverty and child labor in the upcoming years. We should not forget that child labor arises from poverty, so we need to eradicate their poverty level through the power of education leading them towards their career goals.

The lack of knowledge and skill leads to child labor. Therefore the need for time is to increase the accessibility of education to everyone. we need to start moe initiatives like mid-day meal. to increase the reach of students to education.

Digital Disparity.

Covid19 expanded the digital divide. And shows the disparities within the society between the rural and urban, rich and poor. Lockdown compelled the shift to the virtual model. some of the students managed to receive an education without any obstacles. but many unprivileged students have been deprived of it. resulted in drop out of college and institutes due to the financial crisis of lockdown. Before the pandemic differences prevail in access to education but corona widened the gap. Rural areas have severe internet connectivity problems but Half of India’s population is living in rural parts of the country.

India is the second-largest populated country in the world. But it is a developing country. to maintain education for all during the lockdown when the schools are shut is quite challenging. the digital divide between the government and private institutes can be witnessed. Virtual learning wasn’t much challenging for private school students. Unlike the students of the government schools, who didn’t have access to the digital equipment. the Unprivileged children can’t afford access to quality internet and gadgets. Thus being deprived of education. The right to education is meaningless in the covid scenario. The government needs to bridge the digital divide to ensure students’ education. Some students are ahead of others. As many students drop out of school due to financial problems.

 Access to the internet on their mobile phones is a matter of concern as well. The need of the time is to provide digital infrastructure and tools access to unprivileged ones to access online classes. The digital divide has led to incidences of student suicides. many students committed suicide after drop out. Even in urban areas, disparities prevail. those living in slumps and downtrodden areas can’t afford education.

The government needs to focus on technology and extending the vision of digital India.

Those who have access to education face many hurdles such as in assembling notes, in paying attention due to bad network coverage. Getting time to do self-study is also difficult. preparation of online tests is another problem. seeking notes from some of the online sources is also difficult because some websites charge for the subscription which is not possible for everyone. students have to sit in front of the computer screen for many hours and Practical knowledge is not possible during the pandemic because it is hard for the students to perform practical virtually. even for teachers, it is difficult to prepare presentations for the students. 

pandemic hit increases our dependence on technology. The focus had always been on practical knowledge and skills. we are being actively tested for our knowledge without any proper structure of assessment. Most importantly, not all teachers are not good at technical stuff to manage classes or material distribution.

. COVID-19 also raised prominent questions about the need, significance, and value of virtual learning platforms. The majority of the students have been affected negatively and therefore the government should come up with such education policies that would benefit all the students. Common people also need to volunteer to lead a hand to needy people.

Students misery

The covid pandemic not only impacted adults but students also. At one place the children lost their childhood and on the other hand, students are concerned about their career, future that seem bleak to them due to covid devastating impact on the economy.

 one of the most significant reasons is finance and the need for funds. Students are concerned because the global pandemic has created havoc in the employment sector. This resulted in many job losses in the informal sector. As the country is closed so those earning money daily and business have to suffer. The question of school, college, and tuition fees is another issue. This, in turn, has been magnified in the lives of the students and the youth of the country. The financial crisis within the family has bothered almost the majority of the population, especially the students.

The very first concern is the digital divide. Accessibility of digital gadgets especially among the lower economic classes. Eventually, which means withdrawing from school to some students. Being already distorted by financial emergencies, the necessity of digital devices acts as a hindrance in the way of student learning. leading to many students dropping out from formal courses and institutes. increasingly pitted against the highly competitive labor market with most being trapped in the vicious cycle of underpaid labor or disguised unemployment.

The government too is not in a position to solve this problem of digital devices because of treatment and aid expenses.

this economic crisis has an unfortunate effect on the mind of the students. The financial dependence on the family, often severe, mostly reduces them as isolated victims. It also hinders the access to academic opportunities of the student. . Many family members getting affected and the huge expense occurs on treatment, amidst the acute scarcity of oxygen cylinders and other medical pieces of equipment.

The students are facing the problem of academic costs at the same time when a lump sum amount is required for admission failing which the seat might get canceled.

Further, the debt trap will lead to a greater burden in the future for repayment with interest, leading to more psychological suffering. The hostility between maintaining academic costs as well as fending for health expenditure has had severe effects on the young minds, putting their future and aspirations at stake. In this situation, a and well-planned approach is needed to address the issue of financial crisis which can be aided by the government. 

“Online Education and Digital Divide”

 

Recently our Union minister Prakash Javadekar said in the Lok Sabha, “No child was deprived of online education during the pandemic as the government had taken several steps in that direction.” Such a statement is nothing but a mere lie when we encounter reality.

A majority of Indian school students do not have the means or privilege for online education. Some face network and technical glitches. Some face electricity problem. The non-availability of gadgets is another problem. Accessible and compulsory education has always been a challenge in India. Right to education is something that is written merely on paper not exist in the real world. The pandemic broadened the pre-existing gap making online education a commodity of sheer privilege. During the lockdown, thousands of students have suffered due to the digital divide. Taking the example of the Indian state with the highest literacy rate, Kerala witnessed numerous cases where students took away their lives due to a lack of accessibility to digital tools. sometimes Internet accessibility act as a hindrance.

 the obvious failure of the system and concerned authorities witnessed from the devastating act of suicide by the students. Not just that; for powering devices, access to electricity is crucial for digital education. Some states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have a severe problem with electricity.

In the rural area, the houses received electricity for less than 12 hours a day. most of India’s population lives in villages where only 15% of rural households have access to internet services. Whereas in urban areas, it’s 42%. Moreover, India witnessed a spike in unemployment during the lockdown affecting the livelihood of millions.

Especially compulsion of electronic gadgets for online education became a severe problem as in rural areas subsistence is very difficult. Not every rural person could afford expensive gadgets. In most households with a meager income, eating three meals a day was not guaranteed, purchasing costly internet plans or devices cost them a fortune. From mortgaging assets to cutting off on essential household expenses, families have done it all to make online education a possibility when the government schemes failed to reach the neediest. 

Although several NGOs, social groups, and individuals rose to link this digital gap by sponsoring smartphones and laptops, the negligence by the authorities can’t be overlooked. An ordinary Indian citizen expects its government is to at least acknowledge the problem. After all, how will one solve the problem if one does not acknowledge it!

INEQUITY UNMASKED

The Indian education system is based on elitism, with educational accessibility serving as a major dividing line between various socioeconomic groups of a culture. The hierarchical organization of society based on caste or ‘varna’ – the caste system (‘varna vyavastha’) ascribed a rank to the person that marked virtually every aspect of Hindu social life – was one way in which this inequality manifested itself in ancient society. The caste status of a person dictated their privileges (or lack thereof). Many social, religious, and economic advantages were conferred on the upper-caste ‘brahmins,’ including education, while the lower castes were denied entry. The government of the post-colonial Indian state attempted to resolve and abolish such disparities by enacting the Right to Education Act, which required all children under the age of 14 to attend school, as well as the Reservation Policy. In today’s coronavirus-shaped world, inequality is once again exposed: access to the internet and mobile devices, rather than one’s social status, has become the deciding factor.

The repercussions for the general population were immediate and serious when the Indian government declared a full lockdown on the 24th of March 2020 in the hopes of controlling a COVID-19 outbreak. The lockdown, in addition to triggering its own set of issues, revealed the education system’s existing flaws and deteriorating structure. This population did not include families living in poverty who could barely afford regular meals, let alone technological devices, emphasizing the ever-widening divide between the wealthy and the poor.

Online learning has had a positive effect on the education sector; it has sparked a desire for Open and Distance Learning (ODL), as the curriculum promotes self-learning and customization of the syllabus to the students’ needs. However, since the latter is only reaped by a small percentage of the population, the negative consequences greatly outweigh the positive.

Another effect of the curfew on Indian education has been a dramatic rise in the number of students dropping out. For most poor families, the economic fallout from the lockdown resulted in unemployment and a decline in earning power. Children were forced to drop out of school as a result, forcing them into the job market.

The Mid-Day Meal (MDM) programme, which aimed to provide food for students in government schools, was also lost as a result of the lockdown and subsequent school closure.

Ramesh Nishank, the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, announced an increased allocation of funds of Rs. 1700 crores to ensure the provision of MDMs to students even during the lockdown. During the lockout, however, it was discovered that 40% of the qualifying children did not receive MDMs. On the 1st of February 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the Union Budget 2021, which outlined the allocation of funds to various sectors. The budgetary allocation for the government’s flagship education programme, Samagra Shiksha Abhyaan, has been reduced from Rs. 38,751 crores to Rs. 31,050 crores for the coming fiscal year. If the government fails to place a high priority on public education, the detrimental consequences will last for generations and decades. Unemployment would eventually rise, affecting almost every part of society and the economy.

Thanks to the lockdown, schooling took on a new structure overnight, requiring students and teachers to navigate a novel system of adjusting to an online education forum. Humans are social animals that rely on face-to-face communication for successful communication, and the educational field is no exception. In the absence of this face-to-face learning, ground-level proficiency is broken, especially for students studying fundamental concepts and skills that they will need during their lives at the elementary level. Furthermore, students’ practical effectiveness in the field of STEM, where conceptual comprehension and practical applications are at the center of learning, has decreased.

The curfew has forever changed the face of Indian education. The advantages of the blended learning system are only available to those in the upper echelons of society, making the rest unprotected. The issue of quality education accessibility has always existed in the Indian system; it is only now that it has been exacerbated in the face of the pandemic and revealed for all to see.

School Projects and Paper Wastage

Do you ever wonder what happens to your handwritten project file or your exam sheets after an academic year? Well, they are thrown away. I always feel bad, after all this hard work and research my projects are being thrown away.

The best medium of writing down information is paper. Paper is easily available, it is cheap, and it can be stored anywhere. From a student to a teacher everyone uses paper in their day to day lives. Paper is produced from trees. Throughout the world, about 900 million trees are cut down annually. This equates to about 2.47 million trees cut down every day. It is estimated that 24 trees are required to make 1 ton of standard office paper. 

In schools, paper is generally used for writing notes, exams, and projects. Projects are important for grading the students and they present the creativity and content writing skills of the students. Writing down the points taught in class gives the children a quick revision. The students solve various problems and equations in a notebook. During exams, everybody writes in an answer sheet provided by the school. Not only in schools but paper is used in offices, shops, banks, colleges, etc. 

With so much paper in use it is obvious that many pages get wasted. Students tear many papers from their notebooks, many other students play (make aeroplanes and balls) with a clean and unused sheet/sheets of paper. After correction of a test, the test papers and answer sheets are thrown away without even recycling. The old paperwork in many offices is discarded even if only one side of the paper is printed. 

The school projects and assignments also contribute to paper wastage. Unlike notes, notebooks and question paper sets these cannot be handed over to other students and serve no purpose after the assignment is graded by the teacher. Our projects with our best handwriting and best decorations are just kept in a school cupboard until the mass cleaning of all cupboards in the schools. 

I feel that these projects should be made as a digital documentor as a presentation. This will not only save paper but also improve a student’s skill in Microsoft Word and Powerpoint. Due to this ongoing pandemic most of our school projects were to be made in a presentation format. I learned to use many presentation making tools and also saved paper.

How else can we save paper in schools?
  • Re-Use Single-Sided Paper 
  • Do Away with Towel Dispensers in Wash Rooms
  • Settings on All Printers Should be Double-Sided
  • Use computers whenever possible. 
  • Make two-sided copies
  • Re-use printer paper
  • Ask your school to buy recycled or alternative paper products. 
  •  Write smaller and avoid leaving a lot of white space on the page.
  •  Use an erasable board for note taking
  • Reuse notebooks by writing on the unused pages
  • Email assignments rather than printing them out
  • Promote recycling, and have bins in classrooms, libraries, and any areas with copiers and/or printers for easy use.

Are online classes being able to replace traditional classrooms?

With the rise of the pandemic and the extended lockdown, educational institutions have been prompted to shift towards online teaching. While initially digital classrooms seem to be a great alternative, whether it can successfully replace traditional classroom teaching is a question yet to be answered. Online teaching has also posed a threat to students belonging to the economically backward sections of the society. In a country like India, a great percentage of students do not have the access to such means or find it difficult to avail those options.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

According to survey findings there is a noticeable change in behavior and habits following the forced lockdown among the school goers. The sleep cycle and sleeping pattern of nearly 50 per cent children have been disturbed. It also indicates that 13 per cent of children have no regular pattern of sleeping. As a result, 67 per cent of parents think that their child’s screen time has gone up by at least 50 per cent during the lockdown. Increased screen time is known to severely affect concentration levels and leading to insomnia and other sleep disorders. The fear of pandemic has affected children in the worst way, nearly 40 per cent of the children who were surveyed, have been known to have mental health and unaddressed anxiety issues.

Schools and Colleges have set timetable in such a way so that there are breaks in between classes but because of network connectivity issues, students have started logging in earlier, which have lessened the break times. A teacher said in an interview, “In the first month, things were fine but with time students are losing interest and a kind of boredom is setting in even for the bright kids. For students in senior classes or those who will appear for board exams there is pressure from teachers and parents which is taxing.” After attending classes online, many students are also sitting for online tuition or extracurricular activity classes.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Teachers of many schools have reported that students have become “more subdued” in class and their energy levels have decreased than before. According to psychiatrists and teachers, months of being inside and attending classes from within the screen has made students “fatigued” and “demotivated.” Even students who are academically strong have not been responding in class like before, teachers said. They have observed that the “naughty and mischievous” ones who would always be up to some mischief in classrooms have become “quiet and subdued” during online classes.

Psychiatrist Jai Ranjan Ram said to a newspaper, “Teachers are trying but online classes are not the same as what school was for children. No wonder they are feeling demotivated and fatigued. They have to attend continuous classes on the screen, at times not on laptops but on phones. All this while there is monotony of the same environment. It’s difficult to maintain a sense of well-being. In an online class the nuances of non-verbal communication are completely lost.”

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Sneha Priya S, Co-Founder & CEO of SP Robotic Works, has said, “Covid has proven to be the turnstile for education in India. The current situation has unearthed the immense potential of platforms with experiential and interactive learning which engage children in practical tasks and logical reasoning.”

In a physical classroom, students and teachers would even discuss things not related to academics and eagerly share their experiences. While there are downsides, there are also some positive aspects to it. Educational institutions have been closed for months at a stretch. With online classes there is the possibility to catch up with studies. Many students feel that at least in an online mode there is some form of interaction which helps them in these trying times. Online classes have made possible for students and teachers to get back to their routines within safe conditions. They also provide students with something to look forward to everyday. But amidst the current social conditions, students long to go back to their campuses. As we adjust to the ‘new normal’ many young people who are at the beginning of their career are also uncertain of what challenges they might face in the future.

ONLINE LEARNING-PROS V/S CONS

The Majestic year 2020 is marked by two major events.One is the Onset of the worst pandemic that the entire world is reeling under and the other as the title suggests is Online learning!

The Use of Online Learning or E Learning has skyrocketed in the recent times as the only mode of education in a social distancing setup.Indeed it is a necessity as education cannot be put to rest halting the progress of millions of students.As a coin has two sides,similarly online form of education has it’s own perks and drawbacks.So lets find out more!

Online schooling is a popular alternative to attending a brick-and-mortar college or university. Though online students don’t get the face-to-face experiences of a typical on-campus student, there are many benefits and advantages to online learning, also known as distance learning or e-learning.

While not every program or school imaginable has an online option, a large number of them do, and many programs are nationally or regionally accredited. Students can learn through online lectures, projects and discussions. Online degree programs are available at every level, from certificates to doctorates.

Owing to the Covid situation,organisations that used to vouch for traditional methods of education are now radically shifting towards online education because there is no other alternative.Earlier online education used to be an alternative, now it is the only choice for those who want to desperately continue their education.

When Online Education is the new reality,it is very essential to keep in mind it’s advantages and disadvantages to take maximum benefits out of it and also minimize stress levels.

Advantages

-Convenient Learning:It can be undertaken anywhere ranging from a tiny corner in the living room to a study table in the bedroom and without a particular dress code(still modest dressing is expected).

-No Infrastructure:No physical infrastructure such as building,classrooms and benches are required for online education.

-Less Travelling: In Online classes there is no need to undertake strenuous travelling routines as students can attend the classes from the comfort of their homes.

-Recordings:Unlike the Traditional Systems,Online Education system provides an option of class recording and hence students can re watch the class recordings to make concepts clear.

-Virtual Reality(VR):Teachers in the online mode can make use of Virtual Reality Techniques to make students understand complex topics in an interesting way.

disadvantages

-Motivation:The laid back nature of the online classes do not provide much motivation to the students.Students do not take online classes to be as serious as classroom and thus do not pay attention.

-Lack of Concrete Assessments:Online mode of education has so far not been promising for people with theoretical subjects as it is difficult to conduct heavy exams here.

-No practicals:People Who study medicine,chemistry and physics an understand how bad this can be!There are certain subjects which cannot be simply taught,practicals and experiments have to be performed to further the understanding.Online education does not support this.

-Stress on health:The negative impacts of online mode of education on the health of the students is indisputable!Several students have complained of migraines,back aches,eye pain and so forth.Students psychologically too have not been able to cope up with the sudden shift and are suffering.

Thus,Online mode of education is a tricky one and should be suitable for certain conditions,Since it is the only alternative now, educationists and policy makers should study the pros and cons to make amends in the present online education structure to suit the demands of students.We have to always remember that Education is fruitful only when it reaches learners effectively!

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Thankyou!

Stay Knowledgeable!

International Friendship Day

“True freinds are never apart, may be in distance but never in heart.”

International Friendship Day is a day in several countries for celebrating friendship. It is celebrated on July 30 every year across the globe. The day is celebrated to mark the importance of friendships and friends in promoting peace in various cultures across the globe, to cherish friendship and value the people in our lives.

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The idea of World Friendship Day was first proposed by Dr. Ramon Artemio Bracho in 1958 in Paraguay. He coined this term when he was having dinner with his friends in Puerto Pinasco. The dinner hosted by Dr. Ramon Artemio Bracho gave rise to the World Friendship Crusade, which is a foundation that encourages friendships across the world irrespective of race, color, religion, and ethnicity.  In 2011, the Friendship Crusade, on April 27, 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30 as official International Friendship Day. It was initially promoted by the greeting cards’ industry, evidence from social networking sites shows a revival of interest in the holiday that may have grown with the spread of the Internet, particularly in India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. Mobile phones, digital communication, and social media have contributed to popularize the custom. It is also celebrated by exchanging gifts and planning outings with friends. In India, people celebrate this day by giving colorful friendship bands and flowers to each other.

Those who promote the holiday in South Asia attribute the tradition of dedicating a day in the honor of friends to have originated in the United States in 1935 but it actually dates back to 1919. The exchange of Friendship Day gifts like flowers, cards, and wrist bands is a popular tradition on this occasion.

Friendship Day celebrations occur on different dates in different countries. The first World Friendship Day was proposed for 30 July in 1958, by the World Friendship Crusade. On 27 April 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 30 July as official International Friendship Day with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures, and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. However, several countries celebrate friendship day in before and after the UN-designated date. In India, Friendship Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of every August. In Nepal, Friendship day is celebrated on 30 July each year. In Oberlin, Ohio, Friendship Day is celebrated on 9 April each year.

“Friendship is the base of every relation. It is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world.” 

According to the United Nations’ website, “Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.” The UN resolution places emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity. To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations, and civil society groups to hold events, activities, and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding, and reconciliation.

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“Freindship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”

 

 

National Education Policy after 2020

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new National Education Policy (NEP) with an aim to introduce several changes in the Indian education system – from the school to college level. A single regulator for higher education institutions, multiple entries and exit options in degree courses, discontinuation of MPhil programs, low stakes board exams, common entrance exams for universities are among the highlights of the policy.  Speaking to reporters, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the changes are important as the policy, which was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992, had not been revised since then.

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The NEP 2020 aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower”.The new academic session will begin in September-October – the delay is due to the unprecedented coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak – and the government aims to introduce the policy before the new session kicks in. The committee — which suggested changes in the education system under the NEP — was headed by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan. The NEP was drafted in 1986 and updated in 1992. The NEP was part of the election manifesto of the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) ahead of the 2014 elections.

Either one of the mother tongue or the local/regional language will be the medium of instruction up to Class 5 in all schools, the government said Wednesday while launching the National Education Policy 2020. Among other changes in the revision of the NEP, last done over three decades ago, is the extension of the right to education to cover all children between three and 18 years of age. The policy also proposes vocational education, with internships, for students from Class 6, a change to the 10+2 schooling structure, and a four-year bachelor’s program. NEP 2020 will bring two crores, out-of-school children, back into the mainstream, the government has claimed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying he “wholeheartedly welcomed” the policy, which he called a “long due and much-awaited reform in the education sector”.

In a bid to ramp up digital learning, a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) would be created. “E-courses will be developed in eight regional languages initially and virtual labs will be developed,” Amit Khare, Higher Education Secretary, said. Top 100 foreign colleges will be allowed to set-up campuses in India. According to the HRD Ministry document, listing salient features of policy, “such (foreign) universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India.” Standalone Higher Education Institutes and professional education institutes will be evolved into multi-disciplinary education. “There are over 45,000 affiliated colleges in our country. Under Graded Autonomy, Academic, Administrative and Financial Autonomy will be given to colleges, on the basis of the status of their accreditation,” he further said.

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Here are the important points in the National Education Policy 2020:

  1. The mother tongue or local or regional language is to be the medium of instruction in all schools up to Class 5 (preferably till Class 8 and beyond), according to the policy. Under the NEP 2020, Sanskrit will be offered at all levels and foreign languages from the secondary school level.
  2. The 10+2 structure has been replaced with 5+3+3+4, consisting of 12 years of school and three of Anganwadi or pre-school. This will be split as follows: a foundational stage (ages three and eight), three years of pre-primary (ages eight to 11), a preparatory stage (ages 11 to 14), and a secondary stage (ages 14 to 18). According to the government, the revised structure will “bring hitherto uncovered age group of three to six years, recognized globally as a crucial stage for the development of mental faculties, under school curriculum”.
  3. Instead of exams being held every year, school students will sit only for three – at Classes 3, 5, and 8. Assessment in other years will shift to a “regular and formative” style that is more “competency-based, promotes learning and development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking and conceptual clarity”.
  4. Board exams will continue to be held for Classes 10 and 12 but even these will be re-designed with “holistic development” as the aim. Standards for this will be established by a new national assessment center – PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development).
  5. The policy, the government has said, aims at reducing the curriculum load of students and allowing them to become more “multi-disciplinary” and “multi-lingual”. There will be no rigid separation between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities and between vocational and academic stream, the government said.
  6. To that end, the policy also proposes that higher education institutions like the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) move towards “holistic education” by 2040 with greater inclusion of arts and humanities subjects for students studying science subjects, and vice versa.
  7. The NEP 2020 proposes a four-year undergraduate program with multiple exit options to give students flexibility. A multi-disciplinary bachelor’s degree will be awarded after completing four years of study. Students exiting after two years will get a diploma and those leaving after 12 months will have studied a vocational/professional course. MPhil (Master of Philosophy) courses are to be discontinued.
  8. A Higher Education Council of India (HECI) will be set up to regulate higher education; the focus will be on institutions that have 3,000 or more students. Among the council’s goals is to increase the gross enrolment ratio from 26.3 percent (2018) to 50 percent by 2035. The HECI will not, however, have jurisdiction over legal and medical colleges.

The Cabinet also approved changing the name of the HRD ministry to the education ministry.

Online Classes During Pandemic

COVID-19 began in the month of December in 2019 and soon it grew into a pandemic, leading to several losses of lives and locking down of many cities. Social distancing became the key to escape out of this problem. But, with this solution came other problems. We are able to follow social distancing by keeping us locked in our houses but this stopped students’ education too. But we can’t just stop everything due to this COVID thing. We need to find an effective solution to continue the education of students. We need to continue the functioning of schools and colleges.

Online Classes

In the times of the internet, the one and the only solution are online classes. The online way to share knowledge and information now is the internet. It has proved to be a real miracle these days, connecting millions and making information access fast and easy. Be it school, college, tuition, or coaching classes, knowledge is now being delivered to students who are sitting at their home and can learn things sitting there only. Students now need a mobile or desktop and fast internet connection to attend their online classes and learn things. It is not possible for a pandemic to stop students from learning.

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How it is a different experience?

This way of learning is totally new to everyone, be it students, be it teachers or be it parents. We were already involved in some small ways of e-learning but a complete shift towards this type of mode is  something new and challenging to everyone. Teachers are continuously involved in finding new ways to make e-learning more interactive and interseting for students. They are continuously evolving their way of teaching and trying to give them a class-type of feeling. Teachers are also learning to adapt with new softwares and explore things. Students are learning how to deal with online homework submissions, doubt-sessions and examinations. But, the problem is that the medium of interaction is always an electronic device. Hence, students are subjected to fatigue and mental stress. They seem irritated and develop body pain sitting still at a particular position holding their phones or laptops. Students are also developing stress on eyes. It is quite difficult for them to adjust with all of these. It seems that this way of teaching costs their health, both mental and physical. Besides this, internet is not available to all the areas of the country and to all the students. Poor students can’t afford high speed data. This method of teaching, is thus, a barrier between poor students and education. It is a harsh truth that they are left behind. We need to work together towards this to make education available to underprivileged students also.

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Email Etiquettes For Students

Simple rules to send a respectful email that won’t get you on your professor’s bad side. 

Rule 1 – Answer swiftly

 Anyone who sends you an email they’ll want quick responses. The golden rule for email is to reply within 24 hours, and preferably within the same day itself. If your response email is complicated, just send an email confirming receipt and letting them know that you will get back to them. This will ease the senders mind! 

Rule 2 – Use a meaningful subject line

 When filling the subject line, make sure that you mention what the email is for or in regards to. You don’t want it to seem like a randomly generated subject and end up in your professor’s spam folder. It also makes it easier to search for old emails when the subject line is relevant and specific to the content of the email. 

Rule 3 – Read your email before you send it 

Prior to sending your email, be sure that you proofread your message. You shouldn’t write your email as though you are texting your friend. Make sure it’s got full sentences, proper grammar, and real spelling. Look out for potential misunderstandings, the tone, and inappropriate comments. 

Rule 4 – Abbreviations & emoticons 

Be careful using email abbreviations such as BTW (by the way) and LOL (laugh out loud) in formal emails. Even today, some people still don’t know what they mean, so it’s better to drop them. 

Rule 5 – Be concise

 Be succinct and keep your message short and to the point. Your professor is going to have probably hundreds of email messages to wade through each day. Just get to the point and politely, respectfully, ask your request.  If it has to be long, consider including a synopsis at the top of the email. Make sure you are as clear as possible about what it is you need to ask of your professor without writing a novel. 

Rule 6 – Do not write in CAPITALS 

IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS IT SEEMS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING!! Therefore, try not to send email text in capitals. 

Rule 7 – Use a professional email address

 This marks the message as legitimate and not spam. You should always have an email address that conveys your name so that the professor an idea of who’s sending the message. Never use email addresses, perhaps remnants of your grade-school days, that are not appropriate for use in a formal setting, such as “supergirlrocks@…” or “pizzalover@…”.

Rule 8 – Use professional salutations 

Don’t use laid-back, colloquial expressions like, ‘Hi’ or ‘Yo’. Address your professor directly; don’t just launch straight into a request. Examples: ‘Respected Dr. Kapoor’, ‘Dear, Ms. Gupta’, ‘Dr. Sharma, I hope this email finds you well…’. 

Rule 9 – Be polite

Don’t make demands, don’t accuse, remember to write please and thank you. Close your email with something polite like ‘Thanks’, ‘Thanks for your time’, ‘See you in class Wednesday’, ‘regards’, etc. Then re-type your first name 

Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Graduating School

It’s again the time to apply for colleges while you’re just out of school. This stage in life always involves uncertainty and stress, and in addition COVID-19 has made it even more challenging for students. Here are some things I wish I knew before I got out of school-

It’s okay to not have everything figured out just yet

I’m sure you have heard all types of questions about your future- ranging from which college would you like to get into to what do you want to major in, from what type of career do you want after college to what’s your plan-B. If you know the answer to such questions then, congratulations you’re the lucky one. But It’s okay if you don’t know the answers to these right now. Most people don’t have their entire life figured out at age of 17/18. You’ll get there eventually. Try exploring one question at a time instead of stressing about all of these at once. Small steps, remember?

Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone

This is probably one of the biggest things I had to learn after getting out of school. It’s so important that you learn to step out of your comfort zone while you’re in school. School offers you a very sheltered environment, but college doesn’t. You’ll have to make ways to achieve things you want and even go and extra mile for them. Inculcating this habit will benefit you in the long run. You surely don’t want to miss out on opportunities in college simply because you were afraid to take a risk.

You and your friends might grow apart

I was fortunate enough to experience my school friendships grow even stronger after leaving school. But this wan’t the case with most of the friend groups in my school batch. It is something that happens when you all jet off to different cities, when you meet new people who you connect with better or when you see that people who you were close to in school aren’t making as much effort to communicate as you are, which happens a lot. It’s highly unlikely for your entire friend group to end up in the same university or college after graduation or for them to make the same efforts they were making when you all were meeting each day. Either way, don’t be discouraged if you realise you’re not as close as you were in school.

ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s your pride or your fear holding you back, try and get over it. You don’t have to force yourself to struggle when you can ask the ones you trust for help. Whether it’s related to academics or your personal struggle adjusting to a new environment, reach out for help. Looking back you will wish you had asked for help when you had the chance to. This will make your life a lot more easier.

PRIORITIzE your health, physical and mental

Learn to prioritize your health and pay attention to what your body needs from you. Pulling all nighters day after day after day will destroy you and your focus. And No, you can’t survive the whole day at college on a diet of lays and coke forever. Don’t skip your meals. Your health is very important.

You don’t have to be the same person you were in high school

College is the perfect time to reinvent yourself. It’s the perfect time to unlearn concepts and opinions that you no longer agree with. It’s the perfect time to to better yourself educating yourself with issues that are revenant around you. University offers you an environment suitable to reinvent yourself, it offers you the space to give educated opinions and to find like minded people who you willingly want to interact with online school where you had to interact with your classmates only. If you were the brainiac that always had a secret passion for art, then join your college’s art club. If in school you were into sports but always appreciated and enjoyed debating, then join the debate club while participate in the sports activities of your choice. You don’t have to stay the same and that’s the beauty of it.

13 THINGS I WISH I’D KNOWN AT THE AGE OF 13

  1. You don’t need to be peer pressured to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.
  2. Being trendy doesn’t count for much and instead, it is  feeling confident in whatever you wore that mattered.
  3. How important it is to stand up for people you love.
  4. To do what scares you. If you think you wrote a great story, stand up and read it in class! You’ll never know unless you try it.
  5. Don’t ghost. Remember that friend you’ve drifted apart from? Don’t blow her off, instead ask her what’s going on with you two from her perspective. Confrontation is what will get you through Senior School.
  6. Saving Journals. Just look back on how you saw the world at 12, and I bet you’ll have a day full of laughter.
  7. Significant others will always come in time. Right now it might seem like everyone you know is having the time of their lives with their best friend and that your life would improve if a best friend was by your side. But take it from me- Concentrate on good friendships first, if a closer relationship comes out of it, great and even if it doesn’t, then connections that will last won’t make you regret anything.
  8. You’re going to change so much, you might as well accept it now. You might be thinking that who you are now is who you will always be. But the world is ever changing and you’re going to grow for better. So, go with it!
  9. You don’t have to always fit in. Let individuality take the wheel.
  10. Don’t tolerate white lies and don’t tell white lies. The more you get caught up in lies and made-up stories, the more difficult it will be to survive in school. 
  11. Go (slightly) nuts! This is your opportunity in life to be slightly stupid, to be the life of the party. Because it turns out being slightly nuts in board classes isn’t as socially acceptable.
  12. For the love of everything, please stop making a puff. You’ll realise this when you look back at your pictures and cry for 5 days straight. Also hair straight down or pulled back is a hundred times better.
  13. You create the definition of happiness. Not your fake friends. Not your classmates and not even the society.

The Changing Landscape of Education During COVID-19

illustration by Sara Gironi Carnevale

Learn about the impact on children due to COVID-19 that has forced the schools to adapt with online education.

Imparting online education to children amid the COVID-19 crises has emerged as the go-to solution for schools looking to resume the classes amid the need to continue social distancing till a vaccine for the pandemic is found. Conducting online classes is helping education institutions across the world to beat the coronavirus lockdown and push ahead with the academic calendar. 

However, this trend has raised numerous concerns among the educational experts, at the United Nations Children’s Emergency Funds (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). While some of them have expressed alarm about the potential dangers of internet exposure for young kids, others say they are scared that this digital shift may alienate the economically disadvantaged students who lack access to the technology needed to attend the digitally conducted classes. 

The internet exposure puts children at high risk of online sexual exploitation and grooming, as predators look to exploit the coronavirus pandemic. Online grooming is a worrying product of the internet and social media age, in which predatory adults builds online relationships with gullible children and trick or pressure them into sexual behaviour. 

Moreover, under the shadow of COVID-19, millions of children’s lives have temporarily shrunk to just their homes and screens of devices. It is high time we should adapt ourselves with the current situation and help our children to navigate this new reality. 

According to a report issued by the UNESCO, ‘Half of the total number of learners, about 826 million students kept out of the classroom by the pandemic, don’t have access to a household computer or a smartphone device. While 43 percent have no internet at home when the online based distance education is being opted by the schools and educational institutions to ensure continuity of academic year for students in different countries of the world.’ 

Challenges of Online Education 

There are many challenges when it comes to imparting the online education: 

Students who reside in small towns and villages struggle to get a good internet connection speed and mostly are unable to attend the online classes. This will especially prove disadvantage during the exam time as half the students will fail for sure because they will not to connect due to bad internet connection. 

Many of the students don’t have the devices, smartphones and laptops or money to keep the internet connection while also paying the school fees. These are the real challenges which hinder the process of the online learning. 

Not just students, some school teachers and educators are also struggling to get a hang of the technology. The school wants them to make PowerPoint Presentations (PPTs), record the video lectures, and take online classes through different apps and online platforms, but they aren’t instructed clearly as to how this should be done. This is more common among adults of 60 years and above who find the online medium to impart education quite challenging due to lack of hands-on experience with the latest technology.

The lack of real-world interaction among the students and teachers is another challenging factor that could have a negative impact on their relationships compared to regular classes. 

A New Reality

 As the security concerns of the video conferencing apps such as Zoom emerged in the early days of lockdown with regards to conducting online lessons, meetings and private appointments, most schools have started searching for alternatives to keep the academic year 2020-21 going and not suffer much with disruption owing to coronavirus pandemic. 

The COVID-19 has spawned up an unprecedented dependence on technology that keep up the operations running across different sectors and its potential long-term impact on the economy and lives of people across the world. Studies are been conducted on the increasing dependency on the gadgets among the children and adults to monitor its impact on mental health. 

Now it is more vital to provide child protection services to ensure they remain open and active throughout the pandemic, by ensuring that the devices they use have the latest software updates and antivirus programs for precautions against cyber attacks and threats. 

Additionally, UNESCO has advised the use of television and radio broadcasts as an alternative to reduce the already existing inequalities among students seeking to continue their education with the online classes.