India/November 11, 2021/By:Vaishnavi Parashar/ Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/
The transition to online learning highlights a grave digital divide as large sections of students struggle to access educational resources due to unequal internet access in non-urban areas.
Students living in poverty-stricken areas are more likely to lack the educational tools like mobile phones and laptops that make learning at home successful. Now that the phase of the Coronavirus Pandemic (Covid-19) is somewhat over and life is getting back on track, teachers are trying to adapt to the losses caused to the new dimension of teaching and learning, and at the very least develop strategies that support their students and their institutions best.
Approaches need to be followed in Hybrid Model:
The nationwide closings and the associated shift to distance learning and the growing digital divide affected students, teachers, educators, and parents equally.
We need to think about ways of improving access to Internet access, data without evaluation and education platforms to support pupils and teachers who do not have access to computers and the Internet for teaching and learning.
We need a paradigm shift in how we think about how to teach and learn, and how to create an environment that enables learning through technology.
We need to think about how we can improve access to the Internet, zero-ranking data, education platforms and support pupils and teachers without access to computers and the Internet for teaching and learning.
Mrs. Zeba Ansari from Faith Sr. Sec. School believes that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused schools to shut down all across the world. As a result, education has changed a lot with the rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms.
She also stated that, as a teacher, in the beginning, it is interesting for her and students, but only after a few months, students start showing a lack of interest and it became difficult to handle things. However, Covid-19 has resulted in at least one positive appreciation for the importance of schools.
Government initiatives to curb issues:
To support distance learning, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on October 26, 2021, said it has partnered with Microsoft and Tech Avanti-Garde to train teachers in hybrid learning.
The state governments have decided to reopen schools for physical classes and schools are prepared to welcome students back to classrooms, but many parents are reluctant to send their children to schools and prefer online education.
The Board said it aims to educate teachers and schools on how to manage these uncertain times.
Two teachers each from affiliated schools can join the training programme, which will be conducted for five days.
There will be no registration fee and teachers from any affiliated CBSE schools can participate.
What Educational Institutes say:
“Human ingenuity knows no bounds, and there is adequate historical evidence to corroborate that whenever a crisis overtakes humanity, new and innovative ways are discovered to handle it. The Covid-19 pandemic created an impact that has global implications and it was as unprecedented as virulent in nature,” said Mr Vinod Malhotra, Advisor, Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions.
Vinod Malhotra also says that education was amongst the first few sectors that resumed its operations, albeit in a slow and steady fashion. It began cautiously with online classes in a few selected subjects, in which lesson plans were ready in the digital format.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a situation where teachers and students do not use technology by free will but are required to use it for the smooth functioning of the education system.
More than 0.3 billion students are effectively affected by school and university closures, leading to a dramatic change in e-learning platforms.
Online education cannot reform traditional classroom education due to personalised attention and face-to-face communication, but prolonged school closure will worsen students’ ability to learn.
Many education institutes have no option but to adopt e-learning to sustain this situation.
Future for Hybrid Learning:
Going digital can become an instant and efficient response to the current situation and the hybrid learning period is a fantastic chance to create and expand online learning management systems in the country.
India is the second-largest source of international students around the world but this is likely to change for a few more years.
This is one of the reasons the economy has suffered. As an impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, most firms started to operate globally and shifted their operations online.
The process of recruitment and training has also shifted to virtual activities.
Most teachers believe that online learning is the future of education. They think that during this time physical classes can no longer be the first choice, ensuring the safety of teachers and school staff who are at increased risk of contracting Covid-19.
How Hybrid method is bringing change:
The teachers who choose not to teach in person once the schools start should also be considered and should continue their duties online.
Schools can be opened from time to time to provide support to students who need to switch to continue distance learning.
Covid-19 sent everyone scurrying indoors and the entire world moved into the safe environs of their homes.
While the working population got used to WFH mode, students fell prey to online mode. Both went into their comfort zone and getting them out continues to remain an uphill task.
The hybrid method of education has provided an alternate model but has also become a major impediment in returning to normalcy.
Docente - Investigadora Educativa.
Doctora en Cs. de la Educación, Magíster en Desarrollo Curricular y Licenciada en Relaciones Industriales.