Does COVID-19 teach us a new lesson?
Every tragedy is the beginning of a new era that teaches something newer, for the wellbeing of human life. Well, COVID- 19 is one among them, which has played a significant role in changing the perspective of how we approach new things.
It is a social distancing that is being focused on rather than sociality.
Recognition and identification of work of real warriors. i.e doctors, military personnel, police, etc.
Irrespective of caste, gender, color, creed, ethnicity, and religion, we fight for the common purpose.
Among this all, one thing that we have learned the most is that it is high time to shift our focus from the age-old blackboard education system to the online or virtual education system.
Online/virtual education system (MOOCS)
In our part of the world, teaching and learning process is strictly limited to the blackboard system. Physical presence in the classes for learning and earning a degree is very important. Assignments and memorization of the content are considered as the backbone of this whole process.
Due to Covid-19, all corporal activities have been put under lockdown. So there is an urgent need for new systems of education, which is what we call virtual/online learning systems. The government of India has developed a new learning management system (LMS) i.e SWAYAM to learn and earn the skill courses (MOOCS). Several reputed institutes of the world like Harvard University, Landon University, IIIT Bombay, Prude University, Amity University, etc. are offering skill-based online courses which are quite helpful for general masses. But the truth is either the teachers or the students are not accepting the change from the blackboard education system to the virtual teaching and learning system.
Is online learning possible in the UT of J&K?
Since UT of J&K is a conflict zone and it is continuously facing the wrath of political turmoil, the scope of online learning thus becomes meager because of frequent disruption in services required for online learning. The internet gag post August 5, 2019, is a standout example of this.
Practically speaking, it is next to impossible to bridge a gap between teachers and students by browsing a few applications like Google classroom, Zoom, and Whatsapp. Further, the stakeholders (Teachers) are not capable enough to operate these services because of their limited knowledge of ICT.
In view of the above challenges and barriers, virtual/online learning management system is moving with a pace of tortoise in the J&K UT. Still, there is a ray of hope that students will gain quality education by browsing these applications if some sort of fast internet is provided at the time of these crises.
About the Author: Dr. Tariq Hussain Sheikh teaches ICT at Government Degree College Poonch.