Author: Pratishtha Vaidhya
Student of Indore Institute of Law, Indore
One step towards knowledge:
Comprehension is what makes humans distinct from other animals on the planet. But education is what makes men distinct from humans. Education empowers us and makes us capable of withstanding challenges to reach height.
Here, education doesn't mean just going to schools and colleges for the sake of a degree. Here, education means gaining knowledge and perspective of life to become a better and prosperous person.
Article 21(a) of the Constitution of India, 1950 provides free and compulsory education to the children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a fundamental right. Nevertheless, education is more of a luxury for most of the Indian families than a necessity.
Although the Government of India provides free education in Government educational institutions, they are not delivering quality education to groom children to compete in this era. We all are aware, how the government runs the schools? Government teachers themselves face difficulty in comprehending the topics they have to teach. And if we talk about private education institutions, they certainly deliver quality education, but they also charge for an exorbitant amount for that. Where Middle-class families can hardly afford their children's education from good educational institutions. Lower class and people below the poverty line can't afford high charging institutes. Lack of money leaves no option for them but to choose the government schools or stop their children from seeking education at all.
Hampered education system during the COVID-19 pandemic:
The coronavirus pandemic has shut down the education system all around the world. More than 1.5 billion students in 186 countries have been badly affected by the educational shut down. In India too, the government has closed all the educational institutions to stop the spread of the virus.
With the shutdown of educational institutions, university exams and various entrance exams were also cancelled. Closing schools and colleges are affecting the studies and careers of students. Therefore, the Educational institutions came up with online teaching platforms, like the zoom app, Microsoft teams, google meet, etc., and other messenger apps to provide study materials. Online education is not limited to online classes only. It is extended towards the virtual events, competitions, and many other activities like mooting, dancing, and workshops, etc. Exams are conducted via online mediums too.
Do Online education and virtual classes sound fancy to you? It is an extremely intriguing and interactive mode of education as compared to the boring physical classes. E-learning got a very positive response from the students as some of the apps have seen an unexpected hike in the users. Online education stimulates students to explore more in the field of education. It is helping students to learn in the ways they were not able to do before. They are taking online courses and internships to refine their knowledge.
In the case of India, online education has benefited the education system and students in the following ways:
1. Boosted attendance
Touching the attendance standards was always a hectic task for students. During the pandemic, student attendance has been improved as there is no need to travel a long way to the schools and colleges. Today's technophile generation is adoring E-learning with a good response.
2. Easy data tracking
The online method of education helps teachers to keep the record of students more precisely. Every activity in classes has an online record of students, making it easy for mentors to keep their records.
3. Increased engagement
Online methods are more interactive and stimulating consisting of various surveys, courses, workshops, etc. As a result, students engage themselves more in it.
4. Competency-Based Learning
Every student has different aspects of learning and involvement in the class. Online classes motivate students to come up in the class without hesitation due to peer competency within the students. Resulting in better scores.
In India, every good thing comes with huge challenges. Issues like poverty, population, lack of resources creates hurdles in the development of the individual. Here are some disadvantages of online education:
1. Lack of resources
Online classes require a smartphone and a desktop to access it. Middle-class families can somehow afford to buy this essential yet the luxury product. But poor people have no option but to buy these as it would affect their child's education. In this pandemic, people have lost their loved ones. Numerous were the only earning person in the family.
Due to the lack of face-to-face interaction, boredom emerges easily. Students scroll through social media sites while online classes.
3. Stumbled future
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, exams were cancelled. Students got promoted based on internal marks. And universities conducted Open Book Exams for the final year students. This would affect the future career of students.
4. Absence of efficiency
In the wake of the lack of physical interaction and distraction, students would not be as efficient enough to perform in their future careers.
New education policy, 2020:
In Indian politics, education has always stuck at the back foot because it wasn't very interesting to fetch votes. After the wait of 34 years, the government brought the New Government policy, 2020.
The three most important changes in the new National Education Policy, 2020 are:
1. HRD (Human Resources Development) ministry renames as the Ministry of Education.
2. To increase GDP investment in education from 1.6% to 6%.
3. Increased focus in Gross Enrolment Ratio. The aim is to increase it to 50% by 2035.
New NEP, 2020 gives equal weightage to academics, vocational, and extracurricular activities. This will help students to develop themselves in their field of interest.
Analysis of NEP, 2020:
The previous structure of 10+2 years has broken down into the structure of 5+3+3+4 years.
With this move, the playschool level will be a part of formal education.
Coding will be taught to the students of class 6th. Students can opt for their mother language as the medium of studies till class 5th.
Inter-disciplinary combinations of subjects will be there. This means it won't be like the previously rigid system of choosing one among commerce, mathematics, science, and humanities. Instead of it, students can pick up a combination of their subject of interest.
MPhil to be discontinued. And there will be a single regulator for higher education except for the legal and medical field.
Note: These are some significant changes and guidelines made in the NEP, 2020.
The world is going through a very rough patch. And not only the economy but education has shattered down too. Online education has its advantages, but the disadvantages are what need to be discussed. Schools and colleges are arranging classes for students and demanding tuition fees for the same. At this time of the pandemic, many families can't afford to pay fees for the school and colleges. Some institutions are providing concessions in the fees for students, but there are many asking for the full amount. The government should pass the order regarding compromises in the fees.
The new NEP, 2020 is perfect on the paper, but time will prove how perfect its implementation is. With the new policy, students will move ahead towards their development. They now have more freedom to choose subjects, unlike before. The policy made sure that the students would have minimal pressure while deciding their subjects and careers.
Sai Prabhas Mallidi, COVID-19- Effect on student life, READERS' BLOG, (Jul. 23, 2020, 09:44 PM), https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/covid-19-effect-on-student-life/covid-19-effect-on-student-life-23470/
Naba Suroor and M N Saquib Khan, Covid-19 crisis and digital learning: Need to revamp education system, ECONOMIC TIMES GOVERNMENT.COM, (Apr. 27, 2020, 03:33 PM), https://government.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/education/covid-19-crisis-and-digital-learning-need-to-revamp-education-system/75402297
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