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ONLINE LEARNING AND EDUCATION DURING AND AFTER COVID

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The novel corona virus or COVID 19 came as unsettling shock for the whole mankind. The situation of chaos and uncertainty it created is the first of its own and has never seen before. Though it has affected every sector equally, the disruption it created on education system is the largest history has ever witnessed. With its consequences affecting over 1.6 billion student in around 190 countries, Covid 19 has changed the way we think about education. In a country like India where education system is already on the edge off a cliff COVID19 came as a shock wave and aggravated the pre existing situations. Dehradun, otherwise known as the city of colleges or educational hub of northern India also faced the same conditions, with a complete closure of educational institutes during COVID nationwide lockdown.  To overcome this either existing methods needs to prove their compatibility with COVID or new methods of learning needs to be introduced.  One of such method is adapting online learning as a new default.

Top colleges in India are all set to introduce this new way of academic learning into their routines. Experts believe that corona virus may end never or it would take big amount of time and resources to wipe it out absolutely. In both cases we must prepare ourselves for what is about to come. Best colleges in Dehradun such as BFIT have announced online learning as a regular alternative. This is sign of relief of many students who want to keep learning despite current circumstances. There is no undoing the damage that has been done but such solutions provide hope as we all are about to witness this upcoming era of digitalized education. Taking the leads from BFIT, even the top colleges in Uttrakhand are adopting online learning. 

 There are many question regarding online education that people are pondering such as ‘What about the credibility of classroom education’? ‘Does online education have the credibility offline education’? Such questions are very reasonable but we have to ask ourselves ‘what other ways do we have’? We need to prevent crisis from turning into a catastrophe which would curse generations.  In 2020, India nearly has about 700 million internet users and this number is growing a much faster pace. There could not a much better time than this to understand viability of online education. It is understandable many students in India, especially in rural areas do not have access to high speed connections or enough resources to attend an online lectures but this is the era of digitalization so how long till the day when we all have that access, to think of it, we need to prepare for the future.

The adaption of online education in academics is important as it is clear that this pandemic has utterly disrupted an education system that was already losing it relevance. Changes are imperative. With the fact that we are facing the scenario no one ever has, we need to look forward to ways and solutions. There had been such outbreaks earlier in time but COVID possessed the challenges bigger than all combined. Online education definitely has certain weaknesses in the form that it can prevent the genuine communication between the learner and the educator, that is, direct communication and human touch are lost but it surely is a panacea for this educational pandemonium caused by pandemic. This terrible period of fate has taught us that everything is unpredictable and we need to be prepared to face any challenge. Surely, this outbreak did not give us much time to plan but taught us in subtle ways that planning is the key to tackle any situation so we might be able to plan to preserve our posterity.