Envisaging the Evolution of Education on Guru Purnima, 2020

Schools have been an inseparable part of a child’s life. A great deal of emphasis lies on the part and parcel of knowledge that a child receives during his or her school life. Likewise, there is a huge responsibility on the shoulders of every teacher on how to recourse a student’s life. I recall reading “The fun they had”, a chapter in my English textbook which gave me a minimal experience on e-learning. The year was 2010 and little did I know that a decade later, this would become a necessity of the hour.

COVID-19 has influenced the very fabric of our day to day routine, so much so that it has forced schools to undergo massive reforms in a limited timeframe and just like that, the chalks and boards moved over to cyberspace. Long lectures turned into a video conference fiasco, students and teachers struggling side by side, to make ends meet, trying to get used to the new “Normal”. Class notes became highly portable, sailing smoothly from one student to another. From setting up time tables to taking care of the teacher’s availability during proposed school hours – the new “Virtual classrooms” were set to establish a holistic atmosphere for a student to grasp as much teaching as possible.

While the younger minds are increasingly becoming tech savvy, teachers are trying to upgrade themselves from teaching on black boards in classrooms to a virtual space of video conferences. In these perilous times, patience is key. It’s essential that students exhibit a firm resolve and extend their support to dedicated teachers while making this sudden transition to e-learning. Most of the states have asked schools to not hike the fees during the academic year of 2020-2021. For supporting the parents during this period of difficulty, many schools are asking for a nominal tuition fee and providing monthly/quarterly payment options. With most of the school going online there are talks about “No school No fees”. It has aggravated the situation of schools that are now facing problems in providing constant income to its employees. Apart from teachers – peons, school bus drivers, sanitary workers and security guards are also facing similar consequences.

To make the new online process of teaching and learning successful, it is imperative that teachers, students and parents form a synergistic cooperation amongst each other. This ensures an equitable sharing of responsibility and reward amongst teachers and students. Together as a society, it is our duty to ensure that COVID-19 does not hamper the growth and development of young students, who are the beacon of hope for a better future.

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