Rohit is Co-Founder of edustoke. He has over 16 years of rich and varied experience in sales and operations. He set up and expanded Career Launchers operations in Bangalore.
The landscape of the education sector underwent a comprehensive change in the wake of the global pandemic. When the pandemic first hit the coast, people from all across the world expected it to be a small crisis that would be over within a few months. Thus, all modifications made to accommodate the pandemic at that time were made hastily and with temporary relief in mind.
In the initial phases of the pandemic, the education sector was brought to a complete halt. All schools and such institutions were closed when the first lockdown was imposed, and students got a little break from schooling. However, this small break which seemed enjoyable to most students back then, turned dreary when institutions showed no signs of opening again as the crisis surged. Soon, virtual schools and EdTech platforms were introduced to resume education amidst the ongoing crisis. However, the efficiency of these platforms was always criticized in comparison to the physical ones.
Physical education will always be known and appreciated for its focussed and measurable approach. When students learn face-to-face with their educators, they are more likely to take their lessons seriously and retain more information. Educators in turn are able to read the body language and other subtle signals in class and are able to modulate their instruction delivery accordingly. Further, online schooling is adding substantially to the screen times of children which in turn hampers their health. Virtual schooling also curbs the option of physical activity which may add to worsening a child’s health. Lastly, since not everyone comes from a place of equal income, accessing and affording the gadgets and resources such as the internet that are absolutely essential to avail online education might not be possible for all.
It’s important for a child’s social growth that they return to school. Online education has created a great digital divide between the have & the have nots. A substantial part of the 232 Million school going kids in India have been deprived of basic education either due to lack of affordability or faster internet access. If one is to go around clinics of Ophthalmologists in major cities of the country, you would come across an alarming number of kids having eye related disorders due to excessive screen time. This coupled with mental health issues of being isolated at home for a prolonged period of time
As we enter 2022, the pandemic continues to rage with mutations & we can safely say we have to live with it now. The need of the hour is for increased vaccination for kids between 2-18 years old coupled with technology driven safety surveillance in schools. With AI assisted facial recognition, we can better manage mask compliance & social distancing. Thermal body scanners along with periodic testing can ensure that we are more proactive is identifying cases at school & managing any spread.
Unless kids go back to school & day cares open, not only are we looking at a stunted education for our current generation of kids but also a challenging work environment for parents.