Amidst this seemingly never ending lockdown, people all around are trying to enjoy these ‘holidays’ in the best way possible. Guess what the students are doing? Nope, they aren’t sleeping and wasting their time. Instead they have been trying to educate themselves online with tons of assignments topped by hours of online lectures which, to be honest, is a waste of time. While teachers thought this to be the best method, here’s to why not. Here are the disadvantages of online classes:
1. Internet Server Connection
Many students do not have access to high bandwidth or strong internet connections that online courses require. Thus, they fail to catch up with their virtual classmates. Such high usage of internet at all times has made it lag so much that not even a Youtube video runs properly at times. In such times, continous hours of live video lectures gets impossible to attend. Either there is alot of hindrance or it does not connect at all. Not only the students are missing the important lectures but also the stress for losing marks due to less attendance and unfinished assignments is always on head.
Not only that, according to a survey only 54% of the Indian population has access to the internet. This begs the question- what about the other half?
2. The Home Environment
Attending lectures at home is a war in itself. With the younger sibling howling for the TV remote and mother scolding to clean the room atleast once in the lifetime, how is someone expected to hear anything at all? One can’t put themselves on screen, can’t unmute even by mistake. How do you expect the student to learn then? I bet people working from home can relate to it. (Video conferencing…Wasn’t it supposed to be fun?)
3. Computer Literacy and Access to Devices
Although students are generally tech savvy, and thus, are able to manage computers. But lack of computer literacy is a major issue among students today. Many of them cannot operate basic programs such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and therefore are not able to handle their files. Furthermore, many students find fixing basic technical problems troublesome, as they have no knowledge in this area. However, technological proficiency is a must for following online lectures, as it enables students to manage their assignments and courseware in an organized manner without struggling.
Another factor to keep in mind is that most Indian families have at least two kids. Not everyone has an access to a laptop, PC or any other device readily. with clashing timings to classes and parents going to office, how does one juggle such practical problems?
4. Applications Used for Online Classes
While most private universities have there own applications running for lectures and online classes, most government universities like DU are depending on the ZOOM app. As we all are certainly aware with the increasing number of implications the are held with the app, the concerns regarding cyber safety are genuine. Moreover the video quality too is not upto the mark for an undisturbed class to take place. While audio notes and pdfs on whatsapp are a safer option, effective learning does not take place there either.
Another question that has been on the minds of most young parents is the cyber safety. With most parents back in offices, leaving a young child unmonitored while using the internet could be an open invitation to various cyber crimes.
5. Intense Requirement for Self-discipline
Online-classes usually have deadlines for assignments, tests, commenting on lectures, etc. That’s not the problem. The problem is the time management and organization skills necessary to stay on top of your work, allot an appropriate amount of time to complete each task and balance your coursework against other priorities in your life. Staying at home, undoubtedly we have a stockpile of household chores to do as well which leads to procrastination for studies. Not everyone knows how to manage it effectively yet, which again hampers the studies.
The semester has been unstable from the beginning with delayed results, canceled classes, and strikes. This has added to a load on both students and teachers, and hence studies have been severely impacted. Many families are suffering from mental trauma. Close ones getting sick, worsening health, even encountering death, and the parents engaged in essential services, we would like to question how is such an environment healthy for the student mind? The current scenario has only added to this burden, amidst which there is also an upcoming thought of holding online exams, with all the above-mentioned difficulties existing, seems utopian.
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