“Classrooms don’t need tech geeks who can teach, we need teaching geeks who can use tech.”
Isn’t this true for the present condition? Everything has gone haywire across the nation. The Corona Virus pandemic has wreaked a havoc, especially on the Education sector in India. The field of Academics has received a sharp blow in the past months, where teachers and students have all jumped into the boat of ‘Online Teaching’, in order to keep the education going. But, they have not been that productive now, have they?
In the past two months, online teaching has become a part of the students’ and teachers’ lives. The question that persists is- Can Online teaching match the standards of face to face teaching? I don’t think so. Online teaching is not effective in India. The reasons might be the following:
- Lack of Resources
- Short Attention Span
- Teachers are not Techno Savvy
- Time Management Issues
- Absence of Professional Environment
- Prankster Students
- Health issues
So, without further ado, let’s explore these points in detail.
Lack of Resources
We didn’t ask for this Corona Virus now, did we? Lockdown was abruptly imposed on us, and not all of us had a good mobile or a laptop. This has been the most challenging problem for the teachers as well as the students across the country. Consider this. In a family of four, the dad has a phone but he needs it for his office work during the day. The two school-going kids both need to attend online lectures; only the elder one has a mobile phone. Their class timings clash. This is the situation of lakhs of Indians right now. Not everyone can buy a new phone. Also, streaming online classes for almost 3-4 hours every day requires a lot of data!
Short Attention Span
Another drawback of online teaching is that it does not guarantee hundred percent focus from the students. While a teacher is busy explaining something, who knows what a student might be doing? With the privacy features like switching off the video and audio, the student might appear to be virtually present in the class, but he might as well be playing video games! That is the thing. Students never had the courage to walk out of a physical classroom, did they? But online ones, you never know!
Teachers are not Techno Savvy
Let us face the bitter truth, guys – teachers in India are not techno friendly at all. They have never before been exposed to situations where they had to conduct classes online. So, this sudden development in the story’s plot has come as an utter shock to them! I have been talking to a lot of teachers lately, who said they were having a hard time adjusting to this online teaching process. The thing is, they have never worked so extensively on their phones, and learning new things requires time and active participation.
Time Management Issues
There is a major lack of time management when it comes to online teaching. The class that had to be conducted in 40 minutes time, has still not finished after more than two hours! Online teaching takes up a huge chunk of time from the teachers’ as well as the students’ lives. This is already a new thing for the teachers, they require time to configure network issues, application errors etc. It ultimately frustrates everyone.
Absence of Professional Environment
Teachers have been directed to take online classes from their respective homes. But sadly, in India, where most people live together, it is hard to find a private space to teach. To successfully take a class from home, a teacher has to finish all her household tasks, lock the room and plug in earphones to cancel out all the noise. But mind you! There will still be some random sabji-wala who will arrive outside your house and scream mid-lecture! Privacy is a myth, haha!
There are always some notorious students in every class who keep watching out for a chance to disturb the class. Online classes give them the golden opportunity to put their remarkable skills at use. I have seen teachers complaining how students keep muting each other and even the teacher over the call, or how they play hilarious songs through their audio and the teacher sits there completely dazed, like what just happened?
Spending a lot of time in front of screens on a regular basis has some really bad effects on one’s health. Online classes conducted for schools/colleges can take up to 3-4 hours with little or no breaks in between. Eyesight problems, headache, backaches, stress, exhaustion, sleep issues, frustration, etc. are all symptoms of screen time stretched too long.
In my opinion, online teaching/learning won’t be an effective and feasible option for the average Indian student or teacher unless every single one of them is equipped with proper resources. Teachers must be trained to use teaching applications to ensure a productive classroom session. Online classes should not just become a way to pass time, they must provide something of value to the learners. For that to happen, India still has a long way to go.
This is a sample article that I wrote few days back for an internship. Sadly, there has been no reply from their side yet. So, I decided to make the most of this opportunity and post it on my blog! 😼 Do you agree with the above points? Do let me know in the comments section below. This is Firefly signing off! Take care!
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