COVID-19 caused Lockdown ; Precautionary awareness tasks implemented ; Therapeutics and Vaccine research and discovery were speeded up ; Lockdowns were relaxed in steps ; Many public places and activity centres that remained closed for months are opening up their doors now – Educational Institutions, however, remain closed still.
On-line classes and courses offer a viable alternative even if they cannot be a real substitute for practical experience. ” A welcome move “, laud many Education Administrators. Some, however, report its Inadequacies vis-a-vis traditional teaching and learning practices.
The case of Sakshi Sharma, a student preparing for the Medical Entrance Exams in Chandigarh ( months before ) is worth recollecting. She was initially shocked and disheartened when the preparatory classes she attended announced its closure due to COVID-19 restrictions. Disheartening experience soon turned into a cheerful experience when on-line classes were made available, inspiring a new confidence in her. She completed the exams in September (NEET) and secured admission too.
The entrance exams for undergraduate MBBS and Dental courses were announced for May 3, first. COVID-19 Impact caused it to be postponed to July 26. Again, a change in the date ensued and finally it was held on September 13.
COVID-19 lockdown started on March 24 first. Since June 8, the Government announced and implemented relaxations in the lockdown schedule. This is when the on-line classes started getting a boost with more and more students enrolling. Education experts and Administrators hold that the trend will continue even after full control of COVID-19. Same has been the case with Competitive examinations and regular semester/final examinations in colleges. Examinations for some semester courses, however, were held with stringent public health measures in practice. But the fact remains that college students constituted a major group that suffered resulting in mental pain and unhappiness – says Dr Kapil Gupta, a private on-line course Chief Administrator. Specially for those students training for JEE and NEET it was not just a boon but a boon-companion too.
Experience of on-line classes have become very popular within a short period. Reduced expenses ; Comfortable learning at periods of individual choice ; and the increasing confidence among students are being portrayed as reasons behind the success of on-line learning and courses. Significant to note is the fact that the student securing the first rank with 720 marks in NEET exam this year is one who has been trained on-line.
About 550 students have secured admissions in Government Medical Colleges this year from an on-line training school in Janakpuri, New Delhi, according to Dr Anil, the Chief Administrator. Apart from the reduction in training time, the courses serve as harbinger to prepare oneself for the future learning process in today’s technological world. It has also driven the competitive spirit among institutions organising on-line courses even as they change their training activities and schedules to suit the new environment.
Beyond all of the above and carving a special niche in the income probabilities and contribution to our economy (in specially the sector of Education), the role of on-line courses/learning is becoming more than significant each year. At $ 187.8 billion in 2019 it is headed towards a whopping $ 319.2 billion by 2025. North America affords an excellent market for this specially. There are increasing opportunities in the Asian market too, specially in China, India, Malaysia, and South Korea.
What was ₹ 38 billion in 2018 in India is expected to grow to ₹ 360.3 billion by 2024 is the estimation provided now.
The exceptional aspect of On-line learning is that it is reaching a level that nobody can take away from anyone in future. But, does it reveal its potential to relegate the traditional teaching and learning methods and pushing it to be the relic of a different age altogether ? Not yet. It also needs to be ensured that the underprivileged are not left behind in society.
” Dieu avec nous”
Monday, November 30, 2020 – 11.51 a.m. (IST)