As per UNESCO, the coronavirus related lockdowns affected 320 million students in India. The country’s education system experienced both positive and negative impacts of the pandemic. Let’s take a look at critical highs and lows:
The positive impact of the pandemic in the field of education
The coronavirus forced public and private institutions to go for specific changes. Organizations took it as a challenge. They tried to offer seamless support to trainees and parents throughout the pandemic.
During the pre-COVID-19 days, many schools had urged trainees to use hard copies of books. Some institutions had even banned the use of tablet PCs inside the classrooms. But post the first lockdown, schools started adapting and promoting digital study materials. Suddenly, laptops and smartphones became a part of academic life.
- Collaboration between teachers, students, and parents had never been so superb before. All thanks to parent-teacher communication apps.
- Meetings between school administrators and teachers or trainers and parents happen virtually. There is no need for parents to travel several kilometers to the school every week or month.
- Digital literacy has increased. People who had earlier stayed away are now using digital technology.
- Earlier, textbooks and guides were reference materials for students. Now, trainees can access online materials. Teachers share materials in text, PDF, and audio podcasts. Sharing links for educational videos, lectures with students is a common practice.
- Online education has improved students’ ability to manage their time efficiently.
- Another pattern observed worldwide is the increase in demand for distance learning courses. Students are opting for self-learning as they have access to diverse study materials.
School management systems played a lifesaver for many institutions
School management systems helped teachers to adapt to the suddenly introduced digital revolution. Also known as educational ERP, these software programs are powerful, all-in-one, and affordable.
- The software plays a crucial role in helping administrators to run remote learning operations.
- No matter if the classroom is online or offline, school ERP systems are a must.
- The school management system can handle admission functions as well.
- The system offers a curriculum manager, virtual classroom attendance tracking, and weekly scheduling function.
- The educational ERP integrates with learning management systems. It supports online assignment submission, online tests, grade books, and report card generation.
- Admins do not have to worry about generating financial, payroll, and student performance reports.
Highs and lows always go hand-in-hand. Here’s a look at the most noted obstacles:
Challenges faced by schools, students, and parents due to pandemic in India
Most schools and colleges did not support digital education during the pre-pandemic days. So, lockdowns hampered the educational activity in the country. All the educational institutions remained closed. Educational boards had postponed or even canceled their tests and examinations.
Even in urban areas, trainees and teachers were not ready to embrace digital education. After all, shifting from face-to-face learning to online mode isn’t easy.
The role of parents also changed drastically. Some do not have much experience guiding children while they learn at home with virtual classes. They also lack the education to teach kids.
Rural areas in India lack access to high-speed internet. Families cannot afford a laptop, desktop, or smartphone vital for digital learning. The situation has created a digital divide among trainees.
Teachers are playing their part by making educational materials available in physical formats. Those who cannot join virtual classes live can watch recorded lectures. Schools provide study materials in PDF and text (email) format for students living in areas with slow internet connectivity.
Need for digitalization of exam systems in India
One of the main challenges in the Indian education industry is the exam system. Most educational boards conduct physical examinations due to the digital divide.
Edutech firms have recently launched AI-based online examination solutions. But, they have a long way ahead before reaching all the schools.
The evaluation based on the final written exam needs revisiting.Assessments should be able to keep students engaged, generate interest in education. They should be a part of the learning process.
Post module tests in the digital examination system score a point here. Students focus on the lesson because they know there’s a test at the end of the session.
Offline learning may not lose relevance in India
Kids from various cultures and backgrounds come together under one roof. It helps in broadening the students’ perspective. Such interpersonal interactions cannot happen with the digital medium.
For holistic growth and development, trainees need to interact with peers between lectures. These interactions play a role in social skills development.
An Oxfam report released in 2020 had pointed out that 10 percent of Indians possess 74 percent of the country’s wealth. The wealth gap also impacts fair access. Privileged students have access to digital learning systems. But others, which are significant in numbers, do not have access.
The digital divide between various parts of India makes things even more complicated.
Due to these issues, offline learning will continue to be relevant in India. Perhaps, a hybrid model of education can be suitable for the country.
On a final note:
Do you wish to discover ways to overcome the challenges of online education? Feel free to connect with MyEdu. We have helped several institutions with solutions that assist in automating administrative tasks. Feel free to connect with us today and find out more. Let us help you operate your school remotely, with the least resources.