Is online education and work from home here to stay?

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Essay Contest for UPSC Exam for IAS

The 21st century is marred by the outbreak of the various zoonotic viruses. Be it may be the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), ebola, bird flu (H5N1). Consequently, it leads to millions of fatalities around the globe. It came like a disaster in our lives. The whole globe is in the hand of the prey of this deadly virus. Currently, no vaccine is there to curb from this disease. WHO has declared this disease as epidemic or pandemic as it has been spread like air all around.

Online education plays a significant role in our lives. Through this, one can clear the basic concepts. It is said to be very fruitful in the student’s life. To access these classes, one needs a high-speed internet connection. Education is the most powerful tool that helps us to fight against poverty, hunger and unemployment problems.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 disease, everything is shut down whether educational institutions or corporate sectors. The world is grappling with COVID-19 pandemic. The Government made it necessary to operate virtual classes for the students as well as to work from home to reduce its effect. Nothing has changed except the way of teaching and work has changed in this painful time. No doubt virtual classes are becoming boon for society while cursing too.

Only those students could take advantage of these classes who have smartphones, with high-speed internet connectivity. Poor students are still deprived of this facility due to no smartphone and internet. Secondly, in villages, there is a lack of connectivity due to the lack of towers installed. To access this, they have moved far away from their homes. Still, there are also some parents who do not have a smartphone. It’s a worrisome problem because any parent's working house clashes with their ward’s online classes. Some only have a single smartphone and limited internet data which they have to use in their work as well as child’s online’s classes. 

While some have to sit with their small children during ongoing virtual classes and at the same time they have to manage their work. Schools are operating through this and trying to cover their syllabus. Besides having smartphones or systems still students have to face poor bandwidth problems. Sometimes poor audio, videoconferencing, or connection break in between add to their problem list. Consequently, they are unable to listen to their teachers.

There are many e-learning platforms like SWAYAM, NPTEL, Coursera, Edx promote e-learning among the students as well as for professionals who wish to enhance their skill set.

These platforms offer them new opportunities to fulfill their dreams. It is a remote learning platform that solves the problem of the physical relocating of the learner. After completion of the course, the candidate is offered a certificate that is approved by a competent authority in terms of its validity.

Today, this outbreak has bound us to remain indoors rather than outdoors. Accessing online classes and working from home will stay longer until the vaccine is not launched in the market or conditions don’t become normal. No doubt e-learning classes are much better than regular classes. 

-Pallavi Seth

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