The corona virus pandemic is responsible for millions of infections globally. This pandemic is affecting almost every sector across the world education being one of those. We are well aware of the importance of education for a nation and how it helps in its growth. India has the second largest higher education in the world after United Kingdom, at present India has about 900 universities and about 40,000 colleges.
This pandemic forces all educational institutions to adopt online teaching. Lectures are conducted online, exams are conducted online, and assignments are submitted online.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread its wrath globally, the education sector is one amongst the severely hit, it forces universities and schools across India, and the world indeed, to suspend physical classrooms and shift to online classes. While governments worldwide continue to shut schools and colleges in the attempt to stop virus to infect and grow, which is affecting in getting proper education, so to overcome this problem concept of online education is adopted by schools and colleges to provide proper education to their students and also in proper completion of academic year without any delay. Online education is a form of education where students use their home computers, mobiles through the internet, in which lectures are delivered online by the teachers and professors. Online education/Digital education is conducted in mainly two ways- either through recorded classes or via live online classes (webinars). As per UNESCO, over one and a half billion school and college students were stuck at home in this ongoing pandemic, which represent about 90% of the global student population.
While in India, this transition (physical classrooms to online classes) is easy for most private universities and schools, and public ones is still struggling in adopting this transition. So many debates, meetings have been conducted regarding the nature of classes, examination, and evaluation – whether they could be conducted online or not. The move to remote learning has been enabled by several online platforms such as Google classroom, Blackboard, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, all of which are playing very major and vital role in this transition. This pandemic has transformed the traditional old, chalk-talk teaching method to one driven by technology (digital mode of education). Schools have always considered digital learning as a supplementary tool and may have had difficulty in mainstreaming it. However the current scenario has shown the importance of online education and this situation has accelerated the adoption of technology.
As the digital learning continues to accelerate, it shows the digital division in India. Even though the universities and school are trying to provide education to everybody, students from rural, remote districts and from poor communities lack the infrastructure and are not able to get the benefits of digital learning.
When we are adopting a new way of education like this, we also need to look at the bottlenecks. Online education helps teachers to reach out to large number of students across geographies, it also allows innovative methods of teaching with the help of technology and online tools but it is time consuming and needs lot of practice, there is consensus on the fair evaluation, there is inability to reach all students due to technological limitations, lack of infrastructure.
Online education is beneficial for students in many ways like listening to recorded and live conversations and learning at their own speed but they are facing lots of technological difficulties (weak devices, no access to internet, poor speed of internet), there is lot of distractions while learning at home (like family, T.V., etc), and also there is no room for discussions, debates, presentations, etc which effect their confidence building.
The sudden and forced transition of learners into virtual learning during this situation of corona virus has shown the importance of online education and has proved that the education sector is disrupted. Digital education will play very important role in our lives in coming future so it is better to get prepared for the same.