Y Merina Chishi
Online classes are the new norm and the challenges being faced by students is something that will have a long term impact on their education. Having been out of school for months, many students are obviously struggling to keep up with schoolwork. Without a structured daily routine, it often becomes difficult for students to stay focused on their studies all the time. Children cannot grasp much from recorded videos and assignments, making online learning less effective than the normal classroom teaching.
In bigger towns, students are steadily getting accustomed to the new system of learning but things are different and difficult in the rural areas. With low technology use, most students there are depending on messages, calls and handwritten assignments. The process is tedious and time consuming. There is also no guarantee that the syllabus will be completed on time. For these reasons, many students are said to be facing difficulty in coping with their studies, especially in government schools.
Even before the pandemic, government schools in Nagaland were battling poor results and quality of teaching. Now without any system of monitoring online classes, the situation can only be expected to worsen. While the government has initiated televised classes for the higher section, it is observed that the primary section has been left out. It is not being given the attention it needs. The primary section must and should be given priority as that is going to determine the quality of students and the results they produce in the years ahead.
Future, alternate learning strategies these days depend a lot on technology and so for people living in the rural areas, the problems may increase day by day. Online learning is not as simple as leaving the student with the device. They need to be monitored and guided periodically and here the role of parents and guardians become important. But such things simply don't apply to villagers. They place all the responsibility on the school and teachers. Students are therefore depending only on a few video clips and messages to keep their studies going. This is going to have a severe impact on their academics.
There is need for more active participation on the digital learning platform to keep children engaged with their studies. While the government is reaching out to students in higher classes, the primary and intermediary also needs equal attention. All stakeholders must capitalize on this new system because digital teaching can actually improve the quality of education if used effectively.
With the Coronavirus pandemic increasing dominantly, it is going to be long before students can go back to their classrooms. The challenges and drawbacks are plenty. Stakeholders need to ponder over how to handle the problems and overcome the obstacles being faced with digital learning. Execution must be monitored and guidance tools need to be more effective so that students don't suffer in the long run. Because how or when this pandemic is going to end is going to determine the effect it will have on education and future of students.
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