The year 2020 will forever be remembered as a year that brought permanent changes to the world. Some were for the better while others not so much. The displacement of property, people and information were at a global level. The education sector wasn’t any different. The pandemic affected nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 200 countries due to closures of schools, institutions and other learning spaces.
In a bid to keep together a sense of normalcy, everyone attempted new ideas and concepts. Some would display their artistic talents, while others would volunteer to help the needy. Everything for the sake of humanity. During all of these, it was the educational institutes that were lagging behind.
Even though we are familiar with certain institutes that operate entirely online, the entire Indian education system took a while to get on board. But now, learning for students through classes, videos or books online has become the norm.
The isolation that is mandatory during the pandemic has forced everyone to adapt to the online learning model. It is beneficial for everyone involved. Although there may be a few risks and disadvantages, they aren’t as recurring or as significant.
Ease of Access
Since the complete array of learning materials can be stored in a single device, it makes it easy for students and parents to use them. They can engage and attend the classroom in the location that works best for them. This reduces the onslaught of anxiety brought on by new environments, especially for the younger learners.
Convenience regarding timing
Even though the classroom timing could be similar to your regular schooling schedule, it is everything else that matters. All of the work, extra learning and reading can be done at a convenient time by the students. In many cases courses and institutes provide a custom time table for the student’s convenience.
Engaging for Parents
Parents who were previously unaware of the activities and learning that their kids engaged in can now become a part of it. They can observe in real-time the problems and the issues that their kids can be facing in class and work on them accordingly.
The Hiccups Of Online Learning (The Other Side Of The Coin!)
Hardships in adapting
Not every aspect of online learning is a good one. There are certain apps or modules used by institutes that aren’t user friendly. The adaptability ratio of these apps doesn’t correspond to the skills of their students or in many cases their parents. This shifts the focus of students from learning what’s important to managing anxiety brought on by the unusability of the app.
Internet: Not a universal tool
Although we would like to believe that the internet is an omnipresent entity, it is very much not so. There are some parts of the country that aren’t as well equipped with the high-speed internet access that others take for granted. In fact, there are some places in the country where electricity is still a luxury. Kids from those locations and many others aren’t benefiting from this form of learning.
Even though it is the job of the government to bring about the solution to this issue, there are many institutes and non-profit organisations that are working every day to educate the youth of our country.
Role of Universities during this phase
While middle and lower education institutes are given a free pass and bump ups during the lockdown to ease the stress of the students, it is the universities that face an issue. Because the courses impart skills that are readily used in everyday work life, bump ups aren’t a solution.
So many universities have started online modules as well as recorded sessions to provide a good education. Many courses require personal interaction so universities like Nirma have online sessions that have the familiarity of the classroom environment.
How Nirma University has been setting examples!
Nirma University, especially the Institute of Law adapted to the situation quickly by shifting its education model online. As one of the most prominent Law colleges in Gujarat, Nirma University led the way in online learning.
Not just with their classes and learning material, the Institute of Law also managed to conduct their engaging practical learning online. Organising the 10th ILNU National Moot Court Competition in 2021, Nirma University proved why it is ranked among the best law universities in India.
Since the pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, it is the responsibility of students and institutes alike to keep engaging in the online forum as they have kick-started a new form of learning that will be utilised for generations.