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Elbert Einstein has rightly said that, “education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think”. This above quotation describes that education is a multi-faceted thing.
Novel coronavirus (covid-19) has affected all the sectors of all the countries, and the education sector was one of it. However, everything has been shifted largely digital in the form of virtual classrooms as an alternative. But the alternative would always be a mere alternative and not the absolute solution to the problem.
This has not just only left some negative impact, that could have been ignored, but it has taken the rights from most of us. The socialist state of India in article 21 (A) guarantees the right to free and compulsory education to every child but this online mode of education is not available to the marginal section, the poor people as its technology requires high expenses.
And the one who has had somehow managed to overcome the expenses barrier are not struck with the technical barrier, as most of them does not know how to operate it. Online education has only potential to entertain the bookish face of education whereas it leaves behind the crucial aspects of education for instance, a report from CBSE mentions that education envisages the comprehensive and holistic development of children and hence extra-curricular activities are essential which includes sports, music, dance, and yoga etc.
These are the factors which makes our education system more unique and engrossing. All the aspects of education are impossible to mount an online mode. Online education fails to inject ethics and morals in students. Also, education which is totally practical based likewise, the medical field, and one cannot learn surgeries online. Online education fails at this parameter.
Further, psychologists have confirmed that over sitting on scree is leading people towards eye-strain, irregular sleep, anxiety and even depression.
IMPACT ON PRE-PRIMRARY STUDENTS
Pre-primary education commonly known as nursery and prep classes; this age group is the one who is attacked by this pandemic Worsley than any other age group. These are the classes where face to face learning and physical interaction with the students plays very important part. In most of the case the admission fees have been given by the parents and the students did not receive any learning in return to that, and the money as well as two years of leaning just got wasted.
There is some proportion of educated parents who have started making their kids learn things in this period but, the ones who are not educated enough to teach their child, suffered again. Also, in some cases the classes are being provide to the pre-primary students, most of the burden has been put on the shoulders of the parents again, the uneducated ones here fail again to help their child even if they have resources.
This age group has missed their major learning days as what we teach a child at his/her young age. He/she develops his/her personality in that way and represents oneself in future like that only.
IMPACT ON PRIMARY EDUCATION
This class of students, or this age group usually represented by the classes of 1st to 5th standard. This age group comes as second in the queue then it comes to being hit by this pandemic. These are the students who need proper guidance, supervision and support for everything as they are not capable enough to decide on their own about what’s right and what’s wrong for them at this age. They need a proper guardian who can guide in a right direction by showing the right path.
This age group is basically taught with basics of every subject, preparing them for future, as a rational person, who should be knowing the basics and would attain an ability to right, communicate and understand everything. This pandemic has no doubt has provided them with an alternative but this basic foundation with all the extra-curricular activities for their overall development and help them to know their field of interest has been snatched by them.
All this foundation cannot be mounted through online medium Also, the major part they would be missing basic manners and etiquette, reacting in different scenarios they would never be able to learn the idea of brotherhood and “sharing is caring” because they would never have interacted with their batch mates, never have shared their lunches.
They would never be able to know about other’s culture and the beauty of their culture. They all will be in their own shell. Even in this age group the burden falls are the shoulders of guardians and parents.
IMPACT ON SECONDARY EDUCATION
This age group of students usually represented by the classes of 6th to 12th standard. They are third in the queue and are comparatively least affected by this pandemic. In this age group, loss of motivation, willingness and sense of discipline, are the major areas these students are struggling with. These students are actually not getting and utilizing the actual purpose of online education. They are becoming least bothered about what is being taught in the class and rather wasting their energy on social media platforms or by being indulged into wrong practices.
This is all happening because, this sudden imposition of online learning platforms is being imposed without any research, we think that we do have online infrastructure for education but, actually we don’t have it. There is no way of keeping track of how many students are attempting the paper on their own and how many of them are just copying it from the google. They are being promoted to higher classes without actual and proper analyzation which is not only weakening their mind and them, but also pulling them down to have experience how to face problems and react accordingly, to become a better professional for the future, also due to cognitive barriers, parents are not able to monitor their children properly and insure if they are really studying or not and also failing to provide them with an appropriate environment. Also, teachers are failing to monitor the students and keep a track of good or weak students, and are not able to help them with their needs accordingly.
A Story of a boy named Dhruva was shared by his mom expressing the difficulties his son is facing and losing his interest in studies every day. Most of the parents agreed to this and also added that most of them being working, makes it more difficult for them to handle their kids in a situation like this.
IMPACT ON HIGHER EDUCATION
This age group of students is least affected by this pandemic as they really do not need any supervision on their head to monitor them and figure out what is wrong and what is right for them. But they are majorly lacking with the experience, in offline learning one prepares a time table for him/herself and does the work accordingly. Every day one encounters with different problems and learn to react in different problems and situations which prepares them for future and make them better individuals as well as a better professional.
They learn skills like time management through this also, the ones who are involved into more of practical fields are being hit hard by this pandemic as practical stuff cannot be delivered through online mode. Hit and trial method with physical presence of a guardian is must in the field like sports especially.
Talking about practical experience, how can we miss our medical field? Also, if we ignore this for a while and say that at least, they are getting the sufficient theoretical Knowledge even then, they are not able to get a reasonable job according to their abilities.
Also read: Constitutional Validity Of CAA and NHRC
VIOLATION OF RIGHTS
ARTICAL 21A OF CONSTITUTION
Article 21 (A) of constitution guarantees right to education to all the children in the age group of 6 – 14 Years. The state shall ensure and provide free and compulsory education tom all the children of the prescribed age group of the country and ensure proper attendance, admission and completion of their elementary education.
The (RTE) Act, Right to Education, obliges the state to fulfill this obligation by establishing schools and pursuing the minimum norms of unaided put schools.
ARTICLE 21, RIGHT TO PRIVACY
In the span of simply a number of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has modified the manner we tend to work, socialize and assume, impacting nearly each side of our economy, society and psychological state. The manner we tend to conceive our privacy conjointly the} importance that we tend to attach to the protection of our personal information has also been heavily compact by this ground-breaking event. Because it has place into perspective different basic rights that till then we might ne’er have accepted seeing restricted by state measures, the pandemic has needed us to balance privacy with health and security.
By initial providing legal insights on the overall discussion regarding the balance between the basic right to privacy and therefore the general public interest, this can describe the foremost vital and debatable process operations used by states to contain the pandemic and mitigate its effects. Article 21, Right to Privacy, it states that not everybody shall be bereft of his life or personal liberty except consistent with the procedure established by law. But this online education is somewhere violating and infringing these rights as well as many events have witnessed by the students about their ongoing online classes being hacked or some suspicious activities being seeing. In many of the cases, what happened with students is, that their personal things are being saved over the screen anonymously, to which they have not consented and gave access to. Also, many videos have gone viral revealing student’s personal lives. Though that is something wrong at their part too attending phone calls during the class but it is still leading to the infringement of their legal right that is right is privacy.
Also, the sudden imposition of this current online education policy did not allow the government to educate the students and their parents properly so that they could keep all the protective measures in their mind, which is resulting into some crimes and violation of fundamental right of privacy without being in the knowledge of the one who is facing the infringement of it.
NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY, 2020
The union cabinet announced a national education policy 2020 in July last year, outlining the vision for India’s new education system. As it was being observed that Indian education system was somewhere lacking and not leading to the overall development of the students and needed some serious reforms.
An initiative was taken into consideration regarding to the same by introducing some serious, good reforms like giving people the opportunity to have access to the public libraries even after the school hours which would be ICF equipped when possible and for other community engagement and enrichment activities. Proposed, more focus to be given to the vocational studies rather than just forcing or the theatrical aspect at the school level, NIOS to develop high quality modules for sign language and many more. But disappointingly, this ambitious policy, unrolled in the wake of pandemic induced school closures, had nothing to say about how the state would facilitate online education for children.
Faheem Shirin R. K. vs State of Kerala
In this case, a writ petition was filed by a BA student of third (3rd) semester who was being expelled from her hostel for not following the rules and regulations formulated by the principal and head of the hostel. The rules there said that the inmates of the hostels cannot use their mobile phones from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and then it was changed to, 6pm to 10pm.Aggrieved party with her inmates went to the deputy warden expressing their views and problems they are facing due to the rules that have been formulated for them, but she did not answer their queries or resolved the problems they were facing due to the restrictions being formulated for them. Next day she circulated a WhatsApp message in the groups informing the students that whosoever would not abide by the rules and regulations would be expelled out from the hostel. To seek relaxations in the rules the petitioner wrote a letter to the principal requesting to look into the matter and help them. After not having a satisfactory reply from the authorities she wrote a letter claiming that she would not abide by the laws of not using the mobile phones from 6pm o 10pm as that is causing trouble to her and also affecting her studies. Her parents were called for the same to have a word with the principal regarding the same. The high court of Kerala held in the favor of the petitioner throwing light on the benefits and positive aspects of the mobile phones. Stated that with right to education, right to get access of mobile phones and internet is also important to allow the students to compete in this competitive environment with others acquiring knowledge from everywhere they can get.
RIGHT TO HAVE ACCESS TO INTERNET
The high court also threw some light stating the positive aspects of mobile phones and internet access as more applications, news websites can be accessed through that which can help the students in their personal growth and also help them to enhance their knowledge so that can compete in this competitive environment by even having the distance learning from the teacher of their own choice remotely from anywhere, anytime. They can also have access to the online courses to enhance their knowledge by getting any online course of their choice and need and can do it even while having a course in their regular college days. But, this pandemic and sudden imposition of this online education structure is violating and infringing rights of so many people and students. As in India more than half of the population is marginalized, they cannot have access to internet services and the devices with such high costs when they are already, I hand to mouth situation. This sudden imposition is just not only violating their Right to education but also violating their right to have access to the internet and mobile phones, infringement of two rights at a time.
This research article has been written to draw an analysis on the impact of this pandemic on the student life. Every class and every age group of students was being affected by this pandemic. No matter how much the intensity was. It affected all of them including the teachers. In the present turbulent times considering the Covid-19 pandemic, face to face Learning is not possible. This could be said that online education has been very effective mode of learning in this juncture but at the same time it won’t or can’t replace the traditional face to face learning, it is just a tool to cope up and compensate the vacuum which has been created by pandemic Covid-19. An alternative would always be an alternative and cannot be the absolute substitute. There are things which are not possible through E-learning mode. There would be most of the children who would become introvert and would not be able to express themselves to the fullest.
They are the future of the country and the world if their education would be compensated now, things would not end well for all of us. It just not snatches the rights from the unprivileged ones but also gives a false sense of hope to not only students but to the teachers as well that we have the proper infrastructure for online learning which we clearly do not have, the reason there are so many problems arising with a good amount of people and students being dissatisfied out of it. Also, pulling the children back from learning some basic and important life lessons and discipline as well, which could help them be the better version of themselves as a person as well as a professional. Online education and traditional education can go hand in hand like it was happening before for the students who actually are in need of it and are able to have some benefit out of it. As many people think it as the upcoming future of the education system just it has low expenses and time saving elements in it. We cannot compromise the quality just because it is expensive and if people think that online education is good because it is convenient to have, yes indeed it is but then if we want convenience, we would be lacking with experience in some or the other way.
Faheem Shirin R. K. vs State of Kerala, WP(C)No.19716 OF 2019(L)
Author: Rakhi Dhamija, JIMS engineering management technical campus
Editor: Kanishka Vaish, Senior Editor, LexLife India.