Due to the ongoing pandemic, our laptops have become our teachers. The already backward education system took a serious hit when offline schooling had to suddenly shift to online education. The lack of infrastructure and preparedness for this sudden shift has severely affected the quality of education in today’s world. The reach of the education sector has decreased largely amid the global outbreak of the novel Coronavirus. Private schools have managed to stay afloat with the new developments in this sector, however, public schools have become the Titanic in this situation. With half of the students out of their schools and having minimum access to education, how to improve online education is a topic of utmost importance. To widen the reach of education, we need to make changes simultaneously in multiple directions.
•Mode of Communication
Some modifications in our mode of communication can help reach more students. Instead of using video calling apps such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Team, et cetera which require fast internet network and attendance in real-time, switching to WhatsApp audio notes and sharing worksheets as well as pdfs which require fewer megabytes. This will help them to go over the class multiple times in case they don’t understand a particular topic and will not require them to attend a class at a particular time.
After each lesson, an interactive worksheet, homework or test should be administered. When teaching a primary class, interaction works the best. Using pictures, descriptive texts, direct questions and answers, interactive graphics, et cetera would certainly engage students more into their studies. Making teachers available on call for a specific period of time to solve their queries will also encourage them to study and not give up once they fail to understand something.
From old to young, all minds have been negatively impacted by the disruption of their routines, lack of human interaction leading to feelings of loneliness, uncertainty in life, fear of a newly introduced deadly virus and much more. The school going students, who are in their formative years, can develop stress and anxiety. Recent news has also brought into light suicide incidents among students because they did not have access to education and felt that their life had come to a halt, along with many other issues. In these days, mental health awareness holds more importance than any other subject. Teaching students about how to improve their mental health, how to seek help, how to identify problematic thought patterns, and other things they ought to know should be made a priority in their syllabus.
Following a more inclusive approach, to accommodate the underprivileged section of the society is a must in these days. The government should appropriate more funds to the educational sector as they are much needed to build a proper infrastructure for online education. It is the youth that is our future and it is them we should consider our greatest assets. Holistic education would lead to a better society and help in bringing about the changes that are much needed in the world.