The ongoing threat of coronavirus continues to intensify, killing more than 10,000 people worldwide. With the World Health Organization announcing this as a pandemic, the central and state governments have left no stones unturned to curb the spread of the COVID-19 infection.
The government has issued directives restricting public gatherings, ordering malls, movie theaters, gyms and educational institutions (except those conducting exams) to shut down until further notice.
As per the UNESCO report, it estimates that a coronavirus pandemic will adversely affect 290 million students in 22 countries.
E-learning as hope for students amid COVID-19 outbreak:
Here comes a perfect time when we have to realise the potential of digital education (E-learning). Students should note that no matter how bad a situation is going, there is still hope for them to continue with their studies, and preparation for their examinations.
Since everything has been closed including schools, colleges, coaching centres, and even several exams have been deferred so for students e-learning comes out to be more prominent amid this uncertain situation.
Many ed-tech firms try to take advantage of this opportunity by offering free online courses or offering attractive discounts on e-learning modules.
These measures have received enthusiastic responses from students, and some startups have witnessed a 25% increase in e-learning. During this time, distance learning appears to be a viable solution for students, as they can easily offer courses anytime, anywhere and at an affordable price.
Compared to classroom teaching, e-learning is also an interesting and interactive option.
For instance, some of the country’s major EdTech platforms are offering free access to their online applications and crash courses to prepare for JEE Main and NEET.
Challenges in e-learning:
Distance learning or we can say digital education is increasingly dependent on reliable power and ubiquitous Internet connectivity, which can be a far-fetched thing for small towns and villages.
Secondly, e-learning encounters fragmented and impersonal experiences. In addition, due to the lack of a learning atmosphere, students may be distracted by game consoles, social media at home, and may not feel taking online courses.
COVID-19 impact on conventional education:
Therefore, the coronavirus outbreak has forced experts to rethink the conventional mode of education. Digital education seems to be a viable solution while minimizing the infection of students. Eminently, it has also made digital education a central issue.
Worldwide, digital education has had some success but for India, we have a long way to go before we consider e-learning as mainstream education. In the future, digital education may be integrated into mainstream education.