Over the past few years,India has developed in many sectors be it health, hospitality, tourism, education etc and has tried to incorporate technology wherever possible. Although being novice in this India has shown significant improvements. One of the major area being education. It has been almost 10 years since schools and colleges are emerging towards the era of smart learning, using laptops, mobile phones and other gadgets.
2020 has been a very difficult and tough year for everyone, being in lock down, going through a pandemic, facing economic problems, mental issues and what not. In the beginning all the schools and colleges were closed, no classes were conducted, no assignments, no exams, nothing. But as time passed a new era emerged, educational institutes started conducting online classes. This was a great initiative by the authorities but was it well thought?
Students were asked to take classes over the internet, but not everyone has a great internet service. Students living in big cities were able to do so but those who lived in small cities, villages or backward areas faced so much problem. Both students and teachers were not that tech-savvy that they could incorporate the change in this teaching pattern. Internet was not the only problem, sitting in front of a gadget for hours had a bad effect on the health of the students as well, including behavioral impact such as depression, aggressiveness etc. Also, not everyone has the privilege of affording such expensive gadgets. Under this shadow of COVID-19 the lives of millions of students have temporarily been just about their homes and their screens.
It’s not all about the classes. What about exams? What about the degree? For this, many institutes have taken online exams but it was not a complete success everywhere, as it depended on internet availability. Recently, UGC gave a guideline that final year exams will be conducted in July. UGC is The University Grants Commission of India, it is a statutory body set up by the Government, it is charged with coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education. Students challenged this UGC guideline in Supreme Court by signing a petition and the dates have been moved till September. Asking the students to give exams in a traditional way is not the solution. Then what is? No student is asking for a degree without the final evaluation, but the basis of evaluation should be modified. It can be on the basis of previous exams or assignments and projects.
Corona virus has awaken the whole world in many ways, it has made people realize the value of nature, a healthy lifestyle etc. Along with this it has also made us realize that Indian education infrastructure is not yet ready for online studies. It is challenging but not impossible to achieve. We already know the shortcomings, we just need to work on them like technological improvement and making it easily accessible across the country.