The ‘new normal’ of education — online classes
The ongoing pandemic has given rise to online education system. Though it has helped students to continue with their academics, all is not well with online classes. Lenovo Smarter Ed Scholarship — An initiative by Hindustan Times, gives students from class five to 12 to share their opinion about online classes. Besides students, parents have also had a roller-coaster ride with this, we find out from a few about their choice of schooling for their kids.
Due to online learning, kids are getting tech-savvy. Last year was saved due to online classes, which would otherwise have been sacrificed. Teachers, schools and students did a lot of adjusting. Online classes gave kids a sit down, concentrating for that period of time and learning. But of course, it also meant no interaction with friends and teachers which they had otherwise. I have an eight-year-old daughter, Tara, and she took to online learning easily.
What is important is to understand that online is the way forward. There is no going back from here. The pandemic has changed many things in the world and, now, whenever there is an emergency, weather or national calamity, schools will immediately switch to online learning and maybe even continue to have some classes online. However, regular school will also be a huge part of the lives of children as you can’t replace that. Going forward, online learning will be a big part of education.
Initially, my son, Laksshya Kapoor, 4, would miss school and wanted to go, but since outdoor activities are allowed and are safe, he is feeling less bad about not being able to go to school. The lack of travelling to school is a benefit of online classes. Kids are flourishing as they are getting support from teachers and parents. Of course, the disadvantage is that social interaction is reduced to nothing. Though dance, music and other activities keep them busy but the real growth is only in physical school.
In a situation like the ongoing pandemic, where you can’t be in a place physically, but still someone can learn something [from their homes], that is the obvious advantage of online classes. It has opened a lot of doors. A lot of universities abroad have offered online courses. However, I don’t think online can be a substitute of physically being present in a class. Besides, I feel distractions are a little more when it comes to online classes.
VIVEK ANAND OBEROI
Online classes, despite Covid-19, allowed our kids to keep up with studies.Evolution of online classes is fantastic and it allows kids to learn to engage over the digital platforms. The downside are mainly the fact that kids are getting too much screen time. My kids, Vivaan Veer Oberoi, 8 and Ameyaa Nirvana Oberoi, 6, are young. I am always concerned about their eyes and amount of exposure they have to screens. Secondly, till the kids got used to it, it was tough for kids to manage online classes, and as parents, we had to ensure they were focused and solve any technical problems they had.
Online classes help kids stay protected from the coronavirus while getting an education at home, supervised by parents. I get to see my daughter, Hinaya Heer Plaha, 4, study. But the drawback of online classes is that due to circumstances, the kids aren’t able to go school. They are stuck at home and getting bored. I don’t want young kids to get comfortable about the idea of studying at home. I feel there are more cons than pros to online learning. Hinaya enjoys her class but the sad part is that she has not met her classmates and knows them only virtually. The kids are getting socially reclusive and it will be tough for them adjust to the outside world later.