Introduction Covid-19 pandemic has badly affected our education system. It has crippled our lives and we are made to stay at home forcibly. This restriction has forced us to adopt an online learning process for our children. Due to this pandemic, all educational institutions have shifted their focus towards online learning. But nowadays, what I've felt, there is a great need to be conscious while learning online. As online education is different from regular classroom teaching, in regular classroom learning, parents can get all kind of information such as the date of the test, the performance of kids, parents-teacher meeting etc. Parents can always call their kid's teachers and ask them about the assignments that are being given. If their kids are not finishing their projects properly, their parents will know about it and try to help their kids in completing the project. Moreover, information such as teacher's feedback on their kids and how it can be corrected can be received from the teacher. But, today parents are not able to receive such information.
In our country, many parents don't have digital gadgets because of lack of money. Some of them do not know how to use a Smartphone effectively and hence the teachers cannot interact with such parents. The teachers cannot closely monitor every student and as a result of it, they cannot know the behaviour of every student. Some of the students do not take the assignments seriously as a teacher can't be as much strict during an online class as in a regular class.
Disadvantages of online education
Caring environment at homeTeachers cannot interact with the students easily like in a classroom. When the children are away from home, they handle many situations themselves. But, in this restricted environment, the parents provide their kids with every comfort at home which they get used to and then have a hard time grasping an independent learning capability. They learn but are not much attentive towards their studies because of the homely environment. They also can not learn the art of sharing knowledge with others.
Lack of team activities The students cannot interact with the other students easily. They do not view the other students online and hence cannot share their activities. In a classroom, generally, a teacher makes teams and assigns the students for some teamwork. But, online classes are conducted on an individual basis. In countries like India, the institutions cannot provide much-sophisticated gadgets to the students to conduct team activities.
Lack of disciplineIn online education, teachers cannot maintain discipline. The teachers cannot closely monitor every student and hence, cannot judge the behaviour of every student. Some of the students ignore homework or assignment given by the teacher due to a lack of effective monitoring.
Not effective for all places Many places are located in remote areas where internet access is difficult. They cannot take the advantage of an online class. Isolated from the rest of society has turned social experiences more valuable. Each person is learning to value and appreciate the social connection they had with other people at school, work, and other social gatherings. In the early stages of this online learning experience, students face different challenges. Their living environment and problems with internet access, made them realize that the brick and mortar form of education is difficult to replace.
Lack of practice-based learning Online learning is generally theory-based and lacks practice-based learning. Theoretical knowledge refers to facts, theories, and reasoning whereas practical knowledge is based on practical experience and tasks. For example, online learning would be a great tool to learn the theory-based side of cricket, like its history and the rules of the game. However, it cannot be used to share practical knowledge like how to play the game. We can gain more knowledge by practising in the field only. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that e-learning cannot replace the knowledge that comes through practical experience.
Lack of communicational skill development Online education has proved boon for improving the academic knowledge of the students in the pandemic era. However, students lack communication skills during online lessons. Due to the lack of face-to-face interaction between peers, students and teachers, the students may discover that they are unable to work effectively in teamwork. Neglecting the communicational skills of the students will inevitably lead to many students who excel in theoretical knowledge but fail to pass on their knowledge to others.
Cheating prevention is difficult One of the biggest disadvantages of online learning is to be cheated through various methods. Compared to in-classroom students, online students can cheat easily as they take assessments in their own environment while using their personal computers. The students cannot be observed face to face during assessments without a video feed for cheat detection during online assessments. So, it is very hard to detect the cheater. Additionally, without a proper identity verification system, students taking online assessments might be able to let a third party take the assessment instead of themselves, resulting in a wholly fake test result.
Health-related problemDuring online education, the student uses a computer and another such device for a long period so as to eye strain, bad posture, headache and other physical problem may happen.
Technical problem It is the main problem of online learning. Many times, the student has to download or install a complicated app that would give an inconsistent performance. Often, the students are unable to see or hear the instructor's lesson due to a technical fault. Sometimes, a whole lesson gets interrupted by poor connectivity or disconnectivity of the internet.
Conclusion Despite a lot of disadvantages, the online study method proved to be boon in this pandemic. It is indeed a safer alternative for all educational institution.
Yes, online mode of education become most useful in Corona pandemic situation. Without it one year period of study would have lapsed. But otherwise, there are more disadvantages than advantages of online study system as explained in the article. In exceptional fields this can be used. I fully agree with the views of the author.
A good article. Another important point is that the children are getting glued to mobiles in the name of online classes. In a village atmosphere, especially, parents will not understand what is happening. These children are watching shows and listening to music etc. without concentrating on the lesson. The students are asked to do the homework and send them on WhatsApp to their teachers. That is exposing the students to WhatsApp and they are spending a lot of time on this app. How to control this is a big question mark to the parents.
As there is no option, we are accepting this online education but in the long run, it will be proved that online education for children may not be suitable. This is good for adults who want to improve their qualification and get new skills but not to school students, I feel.