Six months back none of us could imagine that our entire lives would be enclosed in between the four walls of ours homes. Words like social distancing, home quarantine or work from home were not associated with our daily lives like it is today. Priorities have changed. Annual gym memberships or spending hours on shopping applications have lost its value. What do we do with fancy clothes if there isn’t anywhere to go?
Along with face masks, sanitizers and disinfectants, the pandemic has brought in anxiety and panic into our everyday lives. The rising numbers of COVID patients or our phones blasting with one bad news after another haven’t been of any help either. The migrant crisis in India has made us realize and acknowledge our privilege. While we could practice social distancing staying safe inside our concrete buildings, the poor of our country had to walk across states to just get back to their families. The pandemic has been successful in increasing the gap between the privileged and the underprivileged. However, at the same time it hasn’t spared anybody; everyone we know are going through one loss or the other in their own way.
Nonetheless, has it stopped us from living our lives?
Winter has come. But winter does not last forever.
Can we be optimistic of this uncertain future? I agree that it isn’t always plausible to look at the brighter side. Yet, I also say that we must search for the positive side. Why? To maintain our sanity.
Change is the only thing which does not change and it is imperative that we keep ourselves upgrading as according to the demand of the situation. Many organizations have remained closed but have we stopped working? While working from home has taken precedence in most organizations worldwide, video conferencing has become the new mode of communication.
Similarly, schools have remained closed for almost five months now. But, has that stopped us from giving our students the education that they deserve? No. School teachers across the country have taken the help of online classes, so that the students do not lose their connect with their books. However, online classes are not inexpensive. It comes with the cost of having a stable internet connection and an electronic gadget that supports the widely used online platforms like Zoom, Google Meet or WhatsApp, etc. Unfortunately, a large percentage of our students do not have access to the same thus making it difficult for them to connect to teachers and classmates in these virtual platforms. This has again created a ‘digital-divide’ among students’ country-wide.
The scope of imparting education to the students of government schools is limited but it isn’t impossible. Teachers and NGOs across the country working with government school students have come up with innovative and creative solutions to connect our not-so-privileged children to the mainstream education system in these difficult times. While earlier importance was given in building a strong student-teacher relationship, a third stakeholder has now entered into this process of relationship building. Engaging the parents in their child’s education through online classes have become an utmost priority.
Teachers have truly become our frontline workers in the education sector, as they devote considerable amounts of time according to the student’s availability. Blended and synchronized learning has taken over the traditional rote learning system of education. However, will e-learning take over our traditional school system? Only time would tell.