This Article is written by Amra (Senior editor at Legalonus and Content head for The Radicals)
Table of Contents
Education plays a significant role in developing an individual and making him a well-informed citizen. Education makes an individual self-sufficient, helps to overpower the social evils & contributes towards the growth of society as a whole. In India, education falls under the jurisdiction of both Union & States. To achieve the goal of education by the (86th Amendment) Act,2002 Article 21A was inserted in the constitution to provide free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of six to fourteen years a Fundamental Right.
This Act and the government is working every bit to provide education. So, one such means adopted was online education; by this initiative, education reaches the door of the needy & the real need for this form of education was realized in the pandemic situation of Covid-19. As beautifully quoted by
The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.Rabindra Nath Tagore
The lockdown due to the COVID outbreak has altered the traditional teaching mechanisms with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on the digital platform. Educational institutions in India are using digital technologies to record video lectures of teachers, provide notes and content related to the courses to students through e-mail, WhatsApp etc. facilitate teacher-student interaction through platforms such as Zoom, Webex etc.
So, now is the time to step ahead in the world of technology. The technology revolution has taken us by storm. Online education is a breath of fresh air which breaks the classroom learning mode. When we use so many ‘apps’ that have simplified our lives, why not use a learning app?
Advantage of e-learning
1. Environment friendly: It consumes less energy and emits fewer CO2 emissions than traditional University courses. In addition, e-learning is a paperless learning method.
2. More affordable: Online programs are cheaper when compared to the ones held on a traditional campus.
3. Flexible: Can study anywhere, anytime. Also, an individual has no worries about presenting oneself by dressing up.
4. Online Education at doorstep: Helps the parents to look over & know what their children are studying.
5. Individual attention: In class, many of us were uncomfortable asking questions or clearing doubts for fear of feeling like a dud? With a direct pipeline with an online tutor, you can remove the doubt.
Government Initiatives towards e-learning
1. Platforms supported by MHRD, NCERT, and the technical education department enable online education such as e-PG Pathshala SWAYAM (online courses for teachers).
2. Pradhan Mantri-VIDYA initiative for digital education under which top 100 universities will be allowed to start online courses by 30 May without a UGC license.
3. For all grades, e-content and QR-coded textbooks would be provided under one nation-one digital platform initiatives.
4. Vidyadaan 2.0:For is inviting e-learning content contributions.
5. One earmarked TV channel for every class from 1st to 12th for students who do not have access to the internet. Radio, community radio & podcasts would be used for the same.
Every coin has two sides, so with pros come the cons as it is often used.
Constraints with online learning in INDIA
1. Feedback is limited: In traditional classrooms, teachers can give students immediate feedback face to face but not so in the case of e-learning.
2. Requires self-motivation.
3. Cheating prevention during online assessments is complicated.
4. Difficulties for teachers: Not comfortable using technology without adequate training and also tremendous pressure due to interference by over-enthusiastic parents.
5. Personal computers &phones are unequal to professional work.
Challenges with e-learning
1. Digital divide: Less than 15% of rural Indian households have an internet connection (as opposed to 42% urban Indian households)& also 55,000 villages in the country are without mobile network coverage as per Niti Ayog in its “Strategy for New India @ 75 reports”. So, those with no access to the internet are still excluded from quality learning & also classes at a time get disturbed due to connectivity issues & this further acts as a restraint in Sustainable Development Goal 4, i.e., Quality Education to all.
2. As per National Sample Survey organizations, only 4.4% of rural households and 23.4% of urban households have computers/laptops. Thus 75% of students are using smartphones to watch online classes & due to this, teachers are apprehensive because of distracting apps.
3. Gender divide: UN report says only 29% of all interest users are female & which leads to the gender gap in education as increased domestic responsibilities impair the atmosphere for learning.
4. Conducting large-scale, high-stakes examinations will be more complicated.
5. Creating new inequality: Only a handful of private schools, universities & IITs could adopt online teaching methods. Their low-income private and government counterparts, on the other hand, have completely shut down for not having access to e-learning solutions.
A multi prolonged strategy is necessary to manage the crisis in the short term and a flexible & strong Indian Education System in a long time.
Measures for effective e-learning
1. The applications can focus on offline content, which can be reviewed without a stable internet connection by learners in the remote corners of India.
2. Improve the content of apps in regional languages as well.
3. Establishing quality assurance mechanisms and quality benchmarks for online learning and e-learning platforms.
To entitle each person to quality education and make it a success, the government needs to take stringent measures. The government needs to ensure that proper implementation of the scheme should be done.