Students on the year gone by

Students on the year gone by

Apart from citing challenges such as the lack of equipment and digital distraction, students also miss the work-driven environment of the classroom, which they feel helps them concentrate better.

The biggest development the education sector has seen this year is the sudden transition to online learning. While this was the need of the hour, students and teachers are still struggling to cope with the change. Apart from citing challenges such as the lack of equipment and digital distraction, students also miss the work-driven environment of the classroom, which they feel helps them concentrate better. 

Pavan Kumar P, a student of fashion and apparel design, says that 60% of his course requirement is practical work. Students of professional courses are experiencing difficulties in adapting to online lessons as they require hands-on training. 

A few high school students felt that online classes were better as having recordings of their classes aids them greatly in understanding their lessons. Mahati Shastri, a Class 8 student, prefers online classes as she had to travel long distances to commute to school.

Some students on the other hand stated that they enjoyed both online and physical classes and want a mix of both even after the pandemic is over.

Challenges and solutions

Internet connectivity are pressing problems when it comes to online classes. Many students faced mild technical difficulties such as having themselves either muted or unmuted at random, spontaneously being removed from their classes due to a glitch or simply not being allowed to join class meetings. Students either had to connect to a different device or network to resolve the issue or had to miss class until the situation was sorted out. Timothy Sebastian, a Class 7 student, wished that the developers of such apps would fix the issues to smooth over the transition to online education.

Interactions during and after class

Students had mixed opinions when it came to their interactions with their teachers and peers. While continuing to miss face-to-face interactions with their friends, they quickly resorted to video calling, chatting on social media or using texting apps to stay connected. 

During lessons, some students found it quite challenging to interact with their teachers, not being heard because of interruptions by fellow students. Whereas some others found adapting to online classes more comfortable as they felt that they had easier access to their teachers. 

A first year undergraduate student, Tarun Sridhar, said, that it was quite easy to make friends virtually as his peers weren't judgmental when it came to interacting online. He pointed out that the class interacted with each other more like one large group instead of breaking off into smaller circles.

Reopening of schools

The Karnataka government has decided to reopen schools for Class 10 and 12 (II PU) students from January 1. Nathanial Sebastian, of Class 12, is eagerly awaiting the reopening of schools as he feels it will be better to get used to physical classroom environment before giving his Board exams.

There are some students who in spite of feeling that schools should wait to reopen until the number of cases have reduced are still willing to attend schools. Trisha Sridhar, currently in Class 10, feels that the precautions provided by the government will be effective. However, Pranav Krishnamurthi, a student of Class 9, is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum stating that even if schools do reopen, he will not be attending until everyone gets vaccinated.

We still have to go a long way in terms of adapting to the differences between what we used to know and what we now have to learn. However, it has the potential to be quite successful judging by how quickly even the youngest of children have adapted to the circumstances they now have to work with. 

Whatever be the platform, as B B King said, “the beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”