Universities and schools have been closed since March 16 due to Coronavirus in the country. The government had announced the closure of classes across the country as part of measures to counter Coronavirus. The fourth phase of lockdown is going on in the country. The government has given permission to work with many conditions, but the question in the mind of the people is when will the schools and colleges be opened.
Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry has made it clear on Tuesday night that no decision has been taken on opening of schools and colleges and there is still a ban on opening of all educational institutions across the country.
No such decision taken by Ministry of Home Affairs. All Educational institutions are still prohibited to open, throughout the country: Press Information Bureau (PIB) on media reports that Ministry of Home Affairs has permitted all States to open schools
— ANI (@ANI) May 26, 2020
This statement has also come from the Ministry of Home Affairs because many reports were coming that the Ministry has given permission to open schools in all states. After the spread of these reports, this statement was issued by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The spokesperson tweeted, “The Union Home Ministry has not taken any such decision. There is still a ban on opening all educational institutions across the country. ”
School and College: How will your children study after Coronavirus lockdown?
Anuradha Beniwal, who teaches chess, divides her time between Britain and India. She teaches chess to students present in different continents.
From expensive London schools to poor children living in far-flung areas of India, they learn all kinds of children here. But, Coronavirus lockdown has completely changed the situation for them.
The huge disparity in access to digital resources has become a major challenge for education in India after the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Need for radical changes in School and College studies policies
On the phone from London, Beniwal explains how the coronavirus has forced academics to think afresh and re-formulate existing educational policies.
She says, “I take a zoom class in London for a maximum of eight students. Most of the children here have their own rooms, have high speed internet, multiple screens like laptops and tablets and are well versed in technology.” . ”
The situation in India is very different from that of developed countries
On the other hand, if we talk about India, then many schools and college and universities have adopted online education here. But, academics and students have mixed experience about it here.
Professor Saikat Mazumdar of Ashoka University in Delhi says, “Shifting towards online studies was mostly easy. The lockdown happened during the holidays and soon after that we shifted to online. All classes are either on Google Meet or Zoom. Has been. ”
“But, along with this, there are some students of the university who are facing the problems of the Internet. These students are usually from Kashmir or other far-flung areas.”
‘Online studies or classes are nothing more than a temporary arrangement’
Most large private schools in the country have resorted to zoom classes, but, the parents of the children say that all this is nothing more than a temporary arrangement.
The father of two girls going to school on condition of anonymity told the BBC, “My children are taking regular classes on Zoom, but the experience of online education is just right. Every child should be given special attention The problem is visible in it. ”
Almost every person has told such a thing, whether it is teachers, students or parents. This epidemic has changed the entire idea of campus experience.
“There is a possibility that our next semester exam will be online. We have given the course material online to the students. It is a bit challenging for the science students, because they have to go to lab and experiment,” says Sakat.
Schools and universities are also considering how they will work after opening.
Social distance will be important and educational institutions will have to learn from the experiences of Europe, South Korea and China.
Online studies cannot replace school
Some other schools have made it mandatory for students to take their temperature during building or classroom entry. But, looking at different students in a country with social and economic diversity like India, the future of education will probably be somewhat different.
Although online education is emerging as a new trend, how will it be made possible for marginalized children?
Anuradha explains, “For many girls, school was a freedom from the difficult life of their home. Apart from learning, school has friends, talks and mid-day meals. All these things now Is over. ”
Nine-year-old Rani Rajput studies in a government primary school in Delhi. His mother Radha Rajput told the BBC that ever since the lockdown came into force, his daughter has been sitting vacant at home.
“We came to Delhi from UP in search of work. My husband drives an autorickshaw and I do household chores at people’s homes. We have come to know that big schools are taking classes on computers,” says Radha.
“But, we do not even have a smartphone. We have not received any information since school closes. My daughter has been disturbed while living in a rooming house all day.”
Need for innovation
Due to limited online classes and limited access to selected urban schools, academics have been challenged to find innovative ways of studying for children with all types of economic-social backgrounds.
“Even though this is a phase of online education, it will never take the place of schools,” says Ritesh Singh, founder of social learning platform Innovation.
Ritesh has received the Prime Minister’s Innovation Award for making an upgrade app for studies. About 12 lakh students study through this app in eight states of the country.
He says, “If we want the online learning system to be effective, then we have to prepare it for every student.”
He says, “For example, a video tutorial designed for a student living in Delhi will not be as effective for a student living in a remote area of Barmer or Latehar. Also, if you teach trigonometry to a child with less understanding If you are, then the child will not get any benefit from it. ”
Ritesh and his team are preparing study material according to the regional needs.
How to reach those who do not have smartphones, internet, education?
But, the big question is how mobile application based learning system in the post-Kovid-19 world can reach a large number of children in a country like India where many people have neither smartphone nor their access to internet is.
For this reason, Ritesh and his team are shifting to a TV format. He has formulated a broadcast model of adaptive learning. Episodes are being aired in many states.
Says Ritesh, “Our episodes DD for Class 9 to Class 12 have started airing on Bihar and Jharkhand from April 20. They have received such good response that we are now preparing material for middle school classes as well. ”
But, it is clear that there are some problems of keeping children in front of TV sets and studying with them. This includes issues like having TV, good home environment and concentration.
“Our future strategy is to reach out to students and provide study material to them through WhatsApp,” says Chhaya Ben, a teacher at a government girl’s school in Chikodara village in Gujarat. Huh.”
“There are a total of 380 students in my school. Most of them come from very poor families. Their parents do not have smartphones and they are not too worried about their children’s education.”
Chhaya says that the epidemic has become very difficult for the children of such families. Their children may end up a full year or even the long-term opportunities of studying.
School and College need to find ways to make themselves relevant
24-year-old Anand Pradhan is the youngest educationist in India who has laid the foundation of the International Public School of Rural Innovation in his native state of Odisha.
They believe that in order to keep the schools relevant in the post-Coronavirus world, they will have to completely rebuild themselves.
He says, “Online education is now a reality. In such a situation, schools have to think about how they can contribute to the child’s life.”
Special development is being given to skill development and innovative thinking in Anand’s school. Students are learning practical skills like scientific farming, entrepreneurship and design thinking.
“We want to prepare skilled people who can understand a problem and solve it on their own.”
The challenge is not only for the students but also for the teachers
Another picture of the future of education appears in Rohtak district of Haryana. Bijender Hooda’s team is working here.
Bijender Mehm is working as a block level education officer in the block. They are trying to bridge the digital divide through their network of teachers.
He says, “We are trying to reach the maximum number of students through WhatsApp. We are sending them video and audio tutorials.”
But, Bijender points to the fact that the parents of most of the children coming from poor families go to work and take the phone with them. Such children are able to read online tutorials on the phone only in the evening.
“We work late at night so that their questions can be solved. Our teachers are also learning to use audio and video. It is quite tiring, but we have no other option.”
Bijender’s team has surveyed the educational status of every child in the village. While distributing raw materials of milk powder and mid-day meal.
Experts say that such challenges will exist in the world after Coronavirus, no matter how big or small the school is. Education is going through a revolution and we will see how it affects children in the long term.