Online Education amid COVID-19: An assessment

Published On: May 22, 2021 07:00 AM NPT By: Shankar Man Singh


Shankar Man Singh

Shankar Man Singh

(The author is a former head of Nepse and SEZ and is currently affiliated with the private sector.)
news@myrepublica.com

It is important to understand that a new era in education has begun with the destruction caused by the coronavirus. This new age of education is new for all of us. Studying at home is not an easy subject. 

One of the most commonly used terms after the COVID-19 pandemic was the word "new normal." It is marked by the use of new general online teaching tools in education. The pandemic has triggered new ways of learning.

Today, digital education has emerged as a reliable resource for students and schools. For many educational institutions, this is a completely new way of teaching that they had to adopt. Online education is now applied to learners only but it also expands extracurricular activities for students. In recent months, the demand for online education has grown significantly and will continue to do so in the future.

Schools in Nepal started classes around September last year, shortly before July, when symptoms of the coronavirus appeared. Experts warned that the second wave could reach different countries as soon as possible. As the number of new cases increases, what is even more worrying is that children are being affected this time, unlike in the past.  Schools remain closed almost across the country while some are conducting classes online. 

Online education is becoming very popular among students all over the world. Although many people consider online degrees to be a small form of education, they will be surprised to learn that a recent study by SRI International (on behalf of the US Department of Education) concluded that “on average, students perform better than those who receive face-to-face in online education. ”

This study echoes the sentiments of many students, whether they are studying English, economics, or engineering - this is the time to take online education seriously. The epidemic of COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on children and left an unimaginable impression on them - socially, emotionally, and educationally. The decision to close schools is the best way to protect children.

Anyway, what about whether schools and students are well-equipped for remote classes. Even last year, when schools were closed amid the pandemic, they ran online classes. But such remote classes were unprofitable and unavailable. Faced with difficulties in conducting online classes in the past, neither the government nor the schools thought of improving the system. When the schools reopened, the general impression was that everything was normal.

According to a study by the National Campaign for Education, an umbrella organization of more than 300 organizations working in the field of education, virtual education was not effective for 64.3 percent of the students surveyed. The study was conducted among students, parents, and teachers from different districts in all seven provinces. A study published in December last year showed that virtual learning does not achieve satisfactory results.

This and other similar studies should inspire government officials and schools to find ways to make online classes more effective. In some major cities, schools have closed, online classes are the only option, and concerns are growing about how children will survive. As caseloads increase, schools in other parts of the country are also likely to close. While those online classes are ineffective, the epidemic has exposed another harsh reality of today's time - the digital divide.

According to an UNICEF Nepal survey conducted in August, more than two-thirds of Nepal's students are deprived of distance education.

Flexibility

The biggest benefit of studying online is the increase in flexibility. You can study when you want, how you want, where you want. This does not mean that the workload is less for students studying online, only when they are more flexible about when, how, and where to study.

This flexibility is because online education is very popular with mature-aged students who have other commitments, such as work or children.

Reputation

Many firms and institutions are busy scrapping online education. If two candidates are interviewed who are the same in all respects, one studying at a traditional university and the other studying online, most of the students studying online will be lost.

A positive sign is that many traditional universities, such as Melbourne Business School, have expanded enrollment for online students. But unless online education becomes more general and socially acceptable, reputation is a definite loss.

Ease of access

All you need to study online is a computer with internet access. All your study materials, lectures, and assignments are sent to you via email or some kind of file transfer system. Your correspondence with the lecturer is also wired, along with email and video calls via Skype or other apps.

Lack of social interaction

One of the biggest disadvantages of studying online is the lack of social interaction. This is especially relevant for young graduates who want to make friends and have a good time. University is important for your career, but don't forget that you will meet friends who will last a lifetime.

More affordable

Online study reduces many of the financial problems that regular students face.

Transportation costs can add up to hundreds per week, prices in cafeterias can be, at times, hilarious and textbooks can cost you thousands of dollars per semester. Students studying online must pay a set annual fee.

Fewer courses

The Internet is an emerging phenomenon; it is still in its infant stage of development and so it should be no surprise that there are some shortcomings in online education.

Courses that require hands-on experiences, such as neurology or chemistry, are simply incapable of online education. 

There are both advantages and disadvantages of studying online. With this article in hand, you will be able to make an informed decision whether to study through traditional means or to study online.

With a traditional board, a desk, huge backpacks full of books, homework, the day begins and ends when the bell rings. For centuries it defined what we all say about the school.

Innovation Wherever You Can Keep Your Eyes On In 12-13 years, the smartphone industry has revolutionized the whole perspective of our technology.

As in the Paleolithic age, we are also victims of the digital age. The old way doesn't get us anywhere in this age of information. The recent coronavirus has finally shown us that the flawed system we have been following for so long is hampering our potential. Today, we live in a wonderful world where education is at your fingertips.

Students can be located anywhere in the world and still have access and fully participate in online classes. It is believed that online classes are very rewarding. This is beneficial for the students as it reduces the transport time of our Kathmandu which is in a state of very busy and terrible traffic chaos

Not only that, but it is also excellent because it allows students to work at the speed they want and it produces good time management skills. For many students, traveling to class can be as difficult as assignments, so it is no exaggeration to say that rushing to be on time is one of the biggest flaws of the old traditional classroom.

There are pros and cons to everything, with all the flexibility, convenience, and time management being the dark side of putting professionals in the online classroom. The downside is that no teacher asks you to focus and stay in the classroom. The online classroom also creates a sense of isolation and a sense of boredom as all the students in the classroom later have to study without the feeling of peers or loneliness.

He/she may have felt lonely as a classmate at first, although sadly they gave a sense of tribalism that is ingrained in our genes. This requires students to find their learning path and to be more active and independent, but it can also be beneficial for some people. An online class gives you a lot of freedom which can be very dangerous if you don't know how to handle it.

Online classes are only beneficial if you know how to use them effectively but lack of supervision can be detrimental to many students. As far as this is concerned, it is a great initiative and we as human beings want to develop in every aspect.

Advantages and disadvantages

Along with most teaching methods, online education also has a set of pros and cons. Decoding and these positive and negative perceptions help institutions develop strategies for a more efficient distribution of text, ensuring a seamless learning journey for students.

It is important to understand that a new era in education has begun with the destruction caused by the coronavirus. This new age of education is new for all of us. Studying at home is not an easy subject. It is not easy to read and teach while fulfilling the responsibilities of home. It is not an easy subject to learn from a medium where students cannot be seen, should read, or teach by looking at a device.

Nepali officials are known to make reactionary decisions instead of taking an active approach. If both authorities and schools fail to learn from the past, it can have a long-term effect on children. Online classes, despite their performance, are therefore a Hobson's choice.

 


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