The Pandemic posed a big challenge to teachers. After the lockdown and prolonged closure of schools in 2020, teachers had to get onto the delivery of classes online.
The situation saw unprepared teaching staff and a sizeable majority of students not equipped with gadgets that were necessary to receive and follow the classes. The lack of infrastructure was a big barrier to be crossed.
If good bandwidth, telecommunications, and students having access to a desktop or laptop at home were the set of issues at one end, teachers who were unprepared on the medium and the tools required for delivery of lessons were on the other end of the problem.
With Work From Home (WFH) becoming the norm among employees, in many homes, especially in urban areas, there was competition on the available laptop or desktops. Time had to be rationed and managed to ensure access to all. In most cases, children, sometimes girls children ended up at the bottom of the priority.
With the pandemic getting prolonged into the second year, many schools that could afford, it in cities went in for regularising online teaching by creating infrastructure. Some, got the teachers trained and also started creating content in digital form that the students could use.
However, online teaching offered advantages in many ways. For one it is comparatively cheaper than classroom education. Secondly, it saves transport costs, time to travel, etc. But, most parts of India were not prepared for a transformation. The net result was a huge impact on the students’ academic and holistic learning experience for at least a year.
In 2021, with vaccine availability growing and cases ebbing in the second half, educational institutions took to a hybrid model of on-campus and online delivery of classes. This required greater coordination and effort.
The key shortcomings that were addressed were the technology and connectivity and familiarity with computers, zoom, Skype, or other digital modes of teaching both the teacher to smaller and school students (especially in the district and rural areas) to a greater extent.
On the compulsions of the evolving situation due to the pandemic, the process of learning as they go along is the order of the day in 2022. But, slowly and surely progress is being achieved.
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