Effect of Covid-19 on schooling
On 27th January 2020India saw its first covid-19 case, none of us knew that one case in the country would spread like wildfire resulting in a change of many lifestyles. The country became stagnant; lockdowns were introduced, the hustle and bustle in everyone’s life stopped for a few days expecting the virus to stop and come back to our daily grind. Unfortunately, this did not happen, many lives were lost, migrant workers lost their jobs, people in urban areas started working from their homes and students had to adapt to the new normal -learning online. India being a developing country going digital wasn’t very easy.
Initially, the government shut down the schools and colleges temporarily. As the cases did
not reduce they started the new method of learning that was online. All of us were thrilled in the starting but little did we know that it was going to continue for more than two years.
We had many queries like -How to log in to the classes? From where should we buy the
textbooks? How much internet do we need? etc. The online classes had both positive and negative reviews.
The majority of the students did not find the online classes easy and useful. We couldn’t pay attention to what the teacher was teaching, half of the time our network wouldn’t work, we could not turn on our cameras, and had very few opportunities to clarify our doubts. Our school and home life were completely mixed. Not only did we do all the work and assignments at home but we also had to prepare for the exams and help with the household chores as there was no household.
A section of students did like the online system of learning. Learning from the comfort
of their homes was their cup of tea. They did like to learn at their own pace, not follow a
daily routine like the way it was during offline classes.
Further, speaking about the teachers, they had a very big task in front of them. The people who were used to the blackboard, chalk dust, collecting notebooks, and receiving a very long good morning ma’am from the students now had to use digital platforms to communicate with the students. Everyone found it difficult because the resources were not easily available. Not every teacher had a laptop or an iPad to log in to the classes. Many of them tried their best to help us, they bought new electronic devices, whiteboards, markers, earphones, internet packs, etc. They always say,
”a good teacher teaches from the heart and not from books” and that was what the
nation witnessed. We saw teachers trying to their maximum potential to not stop the flow of learning. With teaching even they had to manage their personal life and family.
Moving on to the parents, the working parents found it very difficult to do their work and help their children simultaneously. The assignments and homework given to the young learners were more like it was given to the parents. Young learners who were in the primary and pre-primary level found it the most difficult because they would not sit in front of the laptops for more than half an hour and handling them was a very big task for the parents.
When it came to the cancellation of exams and passing of students with the internals, many people judged the batch of 2020-2021, but it wasn’t as easy as they thought it was. Changing the whole system and doing everything digitally had us use all our potential. If writing online exams was a task then scanning the paper, creating a pdf, and then submitting it was another challenge because we never knew when the internet connection would get disabled. The amount of effort put into every project was immense and the pressure on us was much more than we could handle. Graduating without a farewell was disheartening and moving to other colleges without even taking a proper look at our schools in which some of us spent more than 10 years was even worse.
In the final analysis not only did we experience a huge and drastic change in the system of learning. Our whole lifestyle had changed. After a certain period, we started missing our schools and the institutions-the way the teachers would assign a class monitor, gossips with our friends, standing in the sun for our morning assembly, begging our teachers to give us one more pt class, packing our bags ten minutes before the last bell rings, the principal asking the girls to braid their hair and many more. These memories stay and remain in our hearts forever. Hence online or offline learning is a process and it should never stop.