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IMPACT OF COVID ON EDUCATION IN INDIA

Education is the brick on which our country stands. From years there hasn’t been a situation where the entire education system will take a toll. There is disturbance in daily routine of students. Due to COVID-19, our country faced a massive lockdown which has its impact on our education system. Impact of COVID on education is to a great extent. It is not all effective and beneficial. It harms a student’s life. Initially, it was very difficult for obvious reasons for all institutions.It is difficult for teachers too. They face many difficulties. But it allowed the education sector to grow with change.

It has Developed new technologies and platforms to make online education possible. We all know change is inevitable and we all need to learn to adapt ourselves. There are different apps like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet etc. to meet the needs.

According to reports over 1.5 million and more schools were shut-down in the entire country Hopping on to digital education wasn’t an easy task and it still isn’t. According to a 2019 survey, 24% of the population has proper access to Internet services which might have increased. The number is not enough. What about the rest? How will they cope up? The numbers in the rural area are even low, as low as to 4%. It means they have no access to digital learning.

The 2020 batch , “batch struck by COVID” did not experience institutional education. Because of COVID, many of the students decided not to migrate to other cities. They even decided not to go abroad to complete their higher education. It is important to understand that not every child in the country has a good Internet connection. They do not have required gadgets to support his/her education. They have to suffer. 

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GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES 

There is shut down of all schools to prevent spread of COVID. Online conduct of exams will take place. There is delay in exam dates. Day by day the government came up with new strategies to tackle this situation. The ministries of respective states came up with measures so that the activities related to academics and other institutional activities do not go in vain. Some of the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Human Resource Development for our education are as follows:

Steps for secondary education- 

  1. DIKSHA- It is an e-learning portal especially designed for all the students, teachers, and parents. It is in alignment with the curriculum which includes textbooks, worksheets, video lectures, and tests. More than 250 teachers, speaking different languages have contributed to making content Offline use of app is available. Available for both iOS and play store, this app has e-books, more than 80000. 
  2. NATIONAL REPOSITORY OF OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES- This app provides abundant resources in various languages for teachers and students. Some many videos and games keep the children engaged. There is material in alignment with syllabus.
  3. E-PATHSHALA – This app is an app created by NCERT. There is material with approval with NCERT.

The steps taken for higher education are- 

  1. SWAYAM- It is an online portal designed for both school (classes 9-12) and higher education ( undergraduate and postgraduate). This portal includes all subjects like humanities, law, management, and social sciences. 
  2. SWAYAM PRABHA- This portal includes 32 channels and is available for 24/7. It is available for both school education and higher education. These channels are available throughout the country. Subjects like vocational studies, social sciences, arts, law, engineering, technology are included in this portal. 
  3. e-PG PATHSHALA – This app is designed for postgraduate students. It can be accessed offline also.

COVID has had both positive and negative impacts on education in India. They are-

Positive effects- 

  • Both the students and teachers became more used to technology. It has given an opportunity to learn in a new way without physically being there. COVID also opened major areas in the area of the curriculum. 
  • It taught us how to not stop even in the middle of something . It may be as big as global pandemic. Education can be gained in many ways. 
  • The companies developing learning development systems welcomed a lot of opportunities for themselves as the demand became higher.
  • Collaborative teachinggained momentum. Collaborations among students and also among the teachers from different faculties helped them to benefit themselves from the experiences of others. 
  • Digital literacy also gained momentum due to the increased use of digital platforms. 

Negative effects-

  • The educational activities were at a halt. There was suspension of classes at schools and colleges, the institutional, as well as competitive exams, were delayed. The academic year started late due to the delay in admissions. Resuming the physical classes again can be a bit of challenge for students as most of the students have gotten used to the online mode of teaching. 
  • The campus recruitment was also disturbed due to COVID which might lead to a rise in the unemployment rate in our country.
  • Online teaching was new to many students and teachers thus they faced many problems to cope up with this situation. Many did not have the requirements or the knowledge and thus it was an uneasy process for them. Teachers even became a part of mockery by some students because of this which is not acceptable. 
  • The students didn’t take online teaching seriously and took it for granted. It just became a source of attendance for the students and the content didn’t matter to them. 
  • Some parents weren’t able to guide their students properly due to lack of knowledge about digital education. 
  • The rural areas suffered the most due to the total lack of digital knowledge, less access to internet connections and no one to teach them as to how to operate. Even the teachers weren’t equipped and had a lack of knowledge due to which their education suffered and this might also lead to an increased gap between the urban and the rural.
  • Financial constraints of many families did not allow the students to gain access to online education as they weren’t able to afford laptops or high-speed internet connections. 
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CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Formulation of strategies covering all is important. There must be some special provisions must be made for the teachers and students of remote regions. They should be provided with free tabs or proper Internet facilities so that they have an equal opportunity to gain access to education. Proper deployment of funds is necessary. There should be measures to gain employment back.The schools and colleges should follow the social distancing norm.This has to take place even after resumption. and all faculty members and students must be called in shifts. Calling of teachers in shifts is important.

COVID-19, though a big challenge for our country and its education, brought many new opportunities with it. There are no proper equipments In all the parts. All institutions are trying to level up their efforts to make education possible. The most important requirement at this point in time is to build a strong technology infrastructure. It makes our country ready for future.

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