The School has come home
The School has come home
The New Year 2020 started with a new virus outbreak in China when they informed the World Health Organisation of a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City. Subsequently, the disease spread to more Provinces in China, and then to the rest of the world. The virus has been named SARS-CoV-2 and the disease is called COVID-19. The WHO has declared it a pandemic. In India, as the number of Covid-19 cases started to increase, our Prime Minister announced a “lockdown”. Our schools were closed and exams were postponed. But as the lockdown had to be extended, our school decided to start the new session. The new session was to be held in a new unique way - online. Online learning is by no doubt the greatest revolution in contemporary education. It is definitely a boon, especially in such unprecedented times. The pandemic may last for a few months, so the schools decided to start learning through this new medium. The school has come home and we have entered a new world of virtual lectures and learning. This will also help the teachers to cover the syllabus even after the schools reopen. In addition, students will be engaged in studies and productive work during this lockdown, rather than wasting time in gaming or television. It seems like a good alternative for all schools to continue with their objective of learning. With online classes, the situation changes. It’s necessary to follow certain decorum along with discipline.
The classes start at 9 am where the whole class would have assembled not in a real classroom but in a virtual one at their homes. Some of us may have just got up straight from the bed and just sat in front of the computer and started attending school online. Only a few must-have diligently taken a bath and had their breakfast before coming online. The subject teacher would take attendance and start explaining the lesson with the help of visual aids like PPTs and you-Tube videos. All of us would be on mute so that the teacher can explain the chapter without any interference. After the teacher has completed the session, we can clarify our doubts and interact with our teacher. But it is not the same interactive session that we have in a real classroom. Few of us may not even be listening to the teacher and maybe chatting with friends on the phone or watching TV. Our teachers cannot gauge if all the students have understood the concept as it is possible in real classroom interaction. Some may even be having breakfast during the session. We don’t even have to take a bath and could be in school in our pajamas while doing our homework and activities for the day. We don’t have to ask permission to go to the restroom! We also have regular worksheets and tests but one can never be sure if the other classmates are doing them with honesty and sincerity. They could easily open Google and find the answer. This would be “online cheating” but when there is no teacher to check them (and parents busy in their chores), a few can resort to such means. In real school, we could miss school and say we were unwell but we can’t miss the online classes on this pretext. We are compelled to attend all the scheduled sessions. Also spending too much time in front of computers causes a lot of health problems. Learning from a computer for hours, without any breaks can cause eye pain, poor vision, and back problems.
This new trend of virtual school may be relaxing but at the same time, we miss the essence and feel of the real school. The morning assemblies, P.T. exercise, running in the corridor, sports period, canteen time, and overall the chit-to chat with our classmates. All this can’t be done in an ‘online’ school. The school has definitely come home and we have resumed our learning but we are missing out on a big part of our school life. We can only pray and hope that this COVID 19 would disappear and we could be back to our real school!