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An Ultimate Solution?

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Can online classes be a solid replacement of formal classes? This is an important question under discussion nowadays since the start of lock down due to corona virus world wide.

  • Online classes have been resorted to these crucial ‘corona days’ by a number of educational institutions all over the world. This system has been adopted as there is no option left. Social distancing to avoid spread of Corona pandemic is a pre requisite. So, formal classes have been abandoned. Regretfully, there seems no immediate ‘home coming’ in the coming future.

There is a huge chaos in the world these days. Every segment of the society has been under turmoil. Education, students are no exception. Educational institutes also met a disastrous uncertainty. Patents are worried about the future of their kids along with their health.

In the developed countries, online classes are being managed with some expertise. Teachers understand the system of deliverance. Students are comparatively aware of the outcomes of the system. But the situation is quite different in the less developed countries.

I do not think this system of online classes is playing a substantial effective role. An average family generally lacks number of gadgets required for this system if there are more than one student in a home. Internet facility is another concern. Many families cannot afford to have prolonged internet packages.

I have observed that a teacher can not be as comfortable as he is in a formal class. Due to many seen and unseen issues with a teacher while he is at home, he cannot handle his online class properly. Nowadays, as everyone is in mental, psychological and physical trauma, teachers cannot manage online classes properly. I also have witnessed that students ask their teachers something they find difficult, and teachers do not respond. It seems that they are stressed and they have been forced to take online classes against their will. Online Teachers are also under strict Administration observation continuously. Any discrepancy from online teachers is being dealt strictly.

Online teachers also find it difficult to deliver online lecture through video/audio link. Teachers may produce good artists but not necessarily can be good artists to display their craft on screen. They might not be that much effective on screen. Students may also feel shyness in asking questions from their online teachers.

In my opinion, instead of forcing students and teachers conduct online classes, it will be much better to engage students in different assignments. Teachers give them assignments, students attempt them and share these topics online. Some unusual subjects like general knowledge may also be included in the online syllabus. Multiple Choice Questions and Quiz like questions can be more tempting, instigating, demanding, appealing and challenging for the students. Such discussions will be more fruitful and students will feel more involved. The constructiveness will be achieved.

On the one end, it is seen as a useful activity to engage students so that when they return to the formal education, they do not feel any difficulty. On the other side, it is also seen a tactic on the part of some educational institutions to extort fee from parents in the name of online classes. So, when such an activity is carried out in the name of education for mere a business purpose, it loses its real purpose and thus becomes ineffectual.

I have observed some very non serious attitudes from students. It is very easy for them to skip classes in the name of ‘no internet coverage’ or any other technical reason. As regards formal preparations, teachers and students both do not make necessary arrangements before online classes. In my opinion, a teacher should prepare himself before his online class at home as he is supposed to take his formal class away from his home. He should take bath, have proper breakfast and wear proper dress before his online class. Same is the case with the students.

But the negligence can be observed from both ends. Teachers start taking their online classes without formal preparations and they are not as fresh as they remain in their formal classes. Students may also been seen dozing and paying attention to the naughties of their siblings more than their study.

The more you suppress an online teacher, the more decline you see in his working. Though he may be forced to remain online till long hours for the guidance of his students, he will not be there physically and mentally due to his various household issues.

What else if not online classes?

  • First of all, take into account this fact that online classes cannot compensate formal classes.
  • It can support formal educational discrepancies such as in the recent circumstances but to a very limited extent.
  • The casual attitude of teachers and students cannot be made streamlined through strict administrative measures due to the absence of physical contact.
  • Extra curricular and co curricular activities cannot be conducted as it is held in formal circumstances.

In view of foregoing, parents, teachers, students and school/college administration must not take online education system as a pure alternative to the formal education. Rather it should be considered a supplementary element unless a formal education is accessible. The trend of Online certifications, and online courses have been on the rise since years, but it is not comparable to the quality of formal degrees in any way.

ONLINE CLASSES! was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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