The education sector is one of the hardest-hit verticals wrought about by the pandemic menace is by now well documented. Crucial grades preparing for writing examinations were kept on tenterhooks for too long and after waiting eternally, the scheduled examinations had to be canceled owing to a spike in the virus. As the ensuing academic year approached the date of usual commencement, the education sector was kept away from the latest Unlock guidelines because of the sensitivity associated with the children.
- So far so good. With each passing day, a bizarre turn of events kept unfolding concerning conducting of online classes in some States where restrictions are being piled up citing irrational reasons. You would be left amused to hear one of the reasons mentioned opposing the move pointed out that online teaching exposure will harm the cognitive abilities and motor development of children. This is one of the gems popped out by the education department in its wisdom.
- Agreed, too much of screen time is not only harmful but also leads to physical complications too. There is an acceptable way forward deserving rationale understanding. Remember, no less than the WHO (World Health Organization) has advised an hour of online pedagogy for as little as pre-primary children and a gradual increase in the teaching hours for the higher grades. Workable solution by far.
- Many educational institutions have formulated online classes keeping in mind the perceptive abilities of the children on the lines of the WHO guidelines balancing the novel teaching methodology based on scientific reasoning. Despite strict adherence to sensitivities involved, people are questioning the viability now without realizing the benefits accruing in following the methodology.
- There are few educational institutions too, keen to ensure fees are deposited by the parents for the smooth running of schools, who have simply uploaded the regular timetable as a substitute for online classes not realizing the differentiation and effectiveness. Prompt rebuttal from the agitated parents ensued resulting in approaching the education department with representation to stop schools from conducting online classes.
- Accepted, online teaching never will replace or replicate the physical proximity of conventional pedagogy. However, do we have an alternative? The answer shall be a resounding no. The government itself is not able to assure when exactly the schools will be allowed to function normally. As uncertainty looms over the matter, conducting online classes is the only viable alternative that ensures children are not missing out on their educational needs.
- Understandably, challenges are widely prevalent in public schools. As such, the government guidelines are premised keeping in mind public schools primarily and hence, might not possess the infrastructure to carry on online classes. Why penalize the private schools who possess requisite wherewithal to carry out the present-day teaching requirements?
pc: financial express
- Last heard, on prodding by the High Court, the education department has issued guidelines for conducting online classes in a staggered manner starting from half-hour engagement for pre-primary to a couple of sessions on alternative days to four sessions for higher grades. In the absence of clarity, this is an earnest beginning and might be reconsidered in the days ahead.