Short Essay On Online Education A Boon Or A Curse

In this essay we are going to talk about the Essay on Online Education a boon or a curse. Online class is referred to a class or course that is conducted over a digital platform. Though in recent pandemic time online class is more synonymous with general school, college or university classes that are being conducted over various digital platforms. Online learning can be called as the current mode of distance education.

Short Essay on Online Education a boon or a curse

After Covid-19 pandemic hit India in March, 2020 since then government of India has been encouraging online education to continue academic activity. Several high end institutions has been conducting classes over digital medium, like Google Meet, Zoom, Google Classrooms, Microsoft teams etc.

Merits of online class

The best aspect of online class is that it is helping million of people to continue their academic activities in spite of this dire times. An academician can have access to innumerable number of study materials online and he/she/they can get connected with the global circle of academia. They can attend online lectures or webinars in any esteemed institution of their choice no matter of their geographical location. Online teaching also allow people to enhance their expertise in spite of their age gap and they can get in touch and consult experts of their respective fields.

Essay on Online Education a boon or a curse

Online college classes during pandemic are more of informal kind and they have lenient schedule so some students are welcoming this change, also they can attend their class from anywhere and if they by chance missed the class, they can go through the class recording later. So classes have become more flexible in online platform. Some people who faces challenges in physical class or are intimidated by them feel more comfortable and confident in online classes. It is a welcoming change for teachers who believe in experiment and are exploring new methods of teaching during this period. Now this is somehow encouraging, that people are experimenting and exploring but it is only good when it is an optional choice of learning. The problem starts when online teaching process is made mandatory for all.

De-merits of Online education

One thing that we in India tend to forget that not all Indian live in super smart digitally advanced metro cities like Bengaluru. Many people who live in small towns or rural areas face extreme problem of both electricity and stable network connection. One statistics is that 97 percent of India’s village is electrified but the fallacy is that a village is considered electrified if 10 percent of the houses of the village have electric connection. So, in rural India where many houses lack electric facility, there is no question of network connection. There is no statistics available on how many hours a day does electricity even function.

Even in cities like Varanasi power cuts happen in 3-5 hours daily. In remote mountain villages, places near Thar dessert have electricity only for a few hours a day and one can forget about network connection there. It is absolutely impossible for people living here to attend online classes. Moreover most students of these marginalised communities are first generation students. So its nearly impossible for them to afford a smart phone at minimum and it’s a herculean task for them to set up the system.

Another phenomenon that is country wide is that many people lost their jobs during this period. So even though those who live in cities it becoming increasingly tougher for them to recharge their phones and activating good internet packages. Another thing that let’s assume there is a daily wagerer family consisting of two children who are of school or college going age and the family can afford only one smart phone.

So the question remain that whom of the children will attend classes. In many families situation is so drastic that students are dropping out and have to work to earn bread. Many families with toxic environment, living in shanties, or 10 persons living in a single room make it absolutely impossible for the students to attend class. One such heart wrenching scenario was seen when students have to come to railway station to have free wi-fi or proper mobile tower to attend classes. Now that never can be a healthy way to learn.

Click Here: Interesting Articles To Read When Bored

Another problem is that there is no face to face communication in a online classroom. It is absolutely impossible for a teacher to understand what actually is a student is learning or understanding in a online class. For a slow learner this is no less than a nightmare situation and it is not feasible for a student to open their cameras all the time. In some cases teachers are also not well versed in online set ups and it is difficult for the students to keep concentration all the time.

The students who have practical classes or field studies or students from engineering or technical or medical courses, it is impossible for them to learn anything at all. Things are worse for the post graduate and under graduate students. The social science students who need to take surveys and learn from the practical situations, the situation is pretty bad for them too.

Another aspect that people don’t like to talk openly about is the issue of mental health. India already has a high rate of suicide due to depression and other mental ailments in the world and now in the pandemic situation where young people have no chance to meet another people physically, may have to stay in abusive homes or can’t afford their medicines( psychiatric drugs can be pretty expensive) or can’t seek the help of a psychiatrist, their mental health is getting worse and so the number of suicides is increasing.

In some cases students as young as 8 or 9 years old are subjected to online classes and it is absolutely disastrous. The fact that some states of India performs poorly than some poorest countries of Africa in child nutrition and growth and for many families mid-day meal is the only source of nutrition for their children the concept of online class seems like a cruel joke. In the comparatively well off city based families digital education in children doesn’t seem to work because the children are extremely elegant to work with.

They mostly learn from their interaction with the surroundings that’s why school plays such an important role in primary education. The fundamental policy of teaching a child is that you teach him in a playful and enjoyable manner which is absent in digital medium. So most of the students are preferring offline class because other than some theoretical knowledge students are not developing any kind of social skill or sportsmanship cause these are built with man to man communication over the year. The disabled or differently abled students are perhaps facing the most problem because no online teaching method appropriate for them was developed in such a short period of time.

Apart from all this a Indian society is very much divided on the basis of ethnicity, caste, religion and gender and the marginalised sections are often face extreme discrimination. In a country where a Dalit man is lynched because of keeping a mustache how can we ensure that each child is getting equal opportunity? A tribal student who lives in one of the remotest part of India, is a first generation learner and has very few technological support is it even possible for him/her to continue studies in digital medium? So the number of drop outs is also increasing rapidly.

In a patriarchal Indian society boys are often preferred over girls and so if there is technological provision for only one child surely the boy will be preferred. If the family has the capability of investing on one child( like buying a smart phone or affording recharge cost), they will invest it on the boy.

So the girl child would eventually drop out from school/ college and there is high chance that she would be married off very early as girls are often considered as burdens. Some state governments has taken this initiative to broadcast the education curriculum on television on this hope that more children can access it in a community manner, but some deep problem still persists. Apart from the electricity problem, if a household have children of different age groups( very common in joint families), who will get access to it? It is common for the girls to indulge more in household chores than girls, so how will they access it? If suppose a community in a village has a television set will children from other communities will be allowed to get an access of it?

Essay on Online Education a boon or a curse In English

All these questions remain still. The harshest truth of India, that digital divide is a fact and more and more marginalised students are getting excluded from academia. It is true that Artificial intelligence has a lot of possibilities to create some unique changes in education system. But for a third world country like India, it should focus more on fundamental things, like rapidly building school and e-classrooms with it, ensuring proper electric connection and internet stability at least at the school buildings, sanitize and make facilities for the students so that they can maintain physical distancing, eradicate caste and religion based discrimination, felicitate the schools with basic facilities like clean drinking water and toilets, ensuring social security for the marginalised sections. Then only this education system can be turned into a proper inclusive system.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *