Edited by Shivam Watsa

The COVID-19 pandemic is set to change the world sooner than we know. The country is going through a tough time and the way our governments, institutions, organizations and people think and function, will radically change – perhaps for the long term. Online has become a part and parcel of our life.  In every field online has replaced the need for being present physically.

Online has become the default mode of education during this lockdown period in the wake of COVID -19. Like Economic sectors, the entire education sector is undergoing a tectonic shift right now. As educational institutions across India have remained closed for weeks, parents are worried about the children’s education. Some parents have forced their children to take up some online courses, but students don’t seem to show interest in learning online. Some educational institutions have asked teachers to prepare online material, but most teachers don’t have the experience of preparing e-material for them this is something like sailing a boat through high tide waves. The situation described above may present a gloomy picture. There is a volley of questions that draws the attention of the government in the right earnest.

Post COVID – 19, a penny for thought from the government is a desideratum in this sector. Will online education be successful in our country where millions of students don’t own computers and have access to the internet?

Remote learning, distance learning, online learning, home learning and webinar are the buzz words that we hear today. Teachers working in elite schools in cities proudly state that they are providing classes online to their students during this lockdown period. What about teachers working in government – aided and government schools in tier 2 & 3 cities or in rural areas? Neither teachers nor students have access to computers and the internet.

They may neither have the awareness of online tools such as Google classroom available for such purposes nor have the expertise to use them. Is it possible for such teachers to even think of conducting classes online? One thing we have to admit over the past 20 years, the crossover to online learning was happening in fits and starts.  It is imperative to say that the education system needs to be shifted from traditional to online to get accustomed to this mode.