Necessity is the mother of invention is the ideal recall during COVID-19, due to which whole world has come to a halt and online teaching from home has become need of the hour and the only solution in academic globe. The lockdown due to corona virus has thrown various challenges among individuals, educational institutions and universities offering higher learning in India. This has given a unique opportunity to everyone to think, consider and adapt to the digital world using internet and new audio/ visual meeting tools that we had been resisting so far. During pandemic, most of the institutes have started giving online sessions to progress with their classes/ courses so that academic sessions of students are not hampered.
Of course, there have been inevitable teething problems faced by everyone specially IT administrator, faculty members and students. Adjusting to an online learning model has been quite a harrowing experience at first, but now with time its numerous benefits are being realized. Initially few individuals/faculty members were hesitant and slow to embrace online teaching/learning but now they have embraced it as the best solution to cope with the current scenario.
Since now university have come forward and taken steps to resolve the worries of the students by shifting to online teaching and also given positive response to students and parents towards ameliorating their apprehensions regarding the academic current situation. Therefore students are bit comfortable now as online classes have become a great rescuer at all levels from school to higher education. Some students still face issues with practical subjects, network issues and are surrounded by the distractions and other home comforts. So it becomes all more important for them to learn time management, inculcate discipline, submit timely assignments and most important to be mindful and stay positive during gloomy times.
The challenge which major academia system is facing now is conduct of online examinations. Despite the fact that students and faculty are slowly but surely finding their feet in the field of online teaching, there are worries and anxiety as how to conduct examinations. Utilizing technology in the conduct of examination is a very good and helpful approach for future handling. Traditional method of examination is very burdensome and tiresome job as it requires lot of resources like invigilators, time, logistics and of course money. On the other hand, online exams can lower these expenses and also give the flexibility to take exams from anywhere in the world. Now it has become vital to carryout online examinations to avoid postponement in the beginning of the new academic sessions. However universities have to recognize the fact of shifting to an online exam management system and come out with suggestions to hold examinations.
Initially while discussing with few students and individuals, on how the corona virus had jolted their studies altogether and what are the future plan for higher studies. The following few selected statements received by the students due to anxiety and fear among them.
● There is so much of confusion and uncertainty in coming days. How to complete dissertation work and my biggest worry is that I have got the placement last month as I am in my last semester. My company would might say that now we would not like to take fresher’s.
● My parents are afraid to send me in a foreign country now due to this coronavirus as it is spreading too quickly all over the world.
● It looks difficult to finish our current degree and proceed with graduation due to COVID-19 as many of the exams were cancelled or rescheduled and also I might miss the opportunity to study abroad.
● How examinations are going to happen? Anxious of giving online examinations? If exams got delayed then our degrees will also get delayed
The above statements are very natural to feel anxious and panicky but at the same time it is important to keep positive mindset and take care of oneself and others in such a situation.
Staying productive, mindfully and optimistic is another challenge faced by human community during these days. We take the above challenges as an opportunity or black side of the life; it all depends upon our way of thinking. We need to balance our thoughts and beliefs. There are always positive things to focus on even in times of great stress. So we can choose either to be caught up with it or be ready to embrace the bright future once the economy comes back on track again.
At the end I just want to address the youth of our country that don’t feel hopeless and fruitless. We all have to stay positive, constructive and determined during these pandemic times as nothing will stop forever. Even this shall pass. Together, we’ll get through this.
Dr. Sanjna Vij is Assistance Professor at Amity University, Haryana.