What Are The Major Drawbacks Of Online Education In India?: The COVID pandemic and consecutive lockdowns affected the education system not only in India but also in countries all over the world. People were stuck inside their homes for months and in the start, there was no way for kids and students to continue their studies since all of the educational institutions were closed.
The government needed to find an alternative and that alternative was online education. Although it was a good alternative because the students were able to stay in touch with their studies, it has several major drawbacks. In India, the major drawbacks of online education are the following:
The socioeconomic divide between different communities is a huge drawback of online education. India is a diverse country that houses people of all types of cultures and beliefs and because of this reason, there is a huge socioeconomic divide in the country. Not everyone in the country is rich and can afford the equipment required for online education. There is a division among people between different classes like the low, middle, and high class & this is a major drawback of online education in India.
Less than 1/3rd of the population can afford and receive online education. For online education, there are many things involved including internet connectivity, a good device, having an internet modem/router, and configuring it through the default gateway which for most modems is 192.168.1.254, constant power supply, and some other things. All of these things are not accessible to an average lower-class citizen in India, owing to one reason or another.
Sadly, in rural areas of India, people don’t have access to the internet, and the power supply to their homes is not constant plus they cannot afford expensive devices and this is a reason why students belonging to lower class families are unable to attend any live session.
Gender discrimination is another drawback of online education in the country. According to a survey that was conducted in government schools of Bihar, out of 733 children, only 28% of the girls had access to a smartphone whereas 36% of the boys had access to a smartphone. In most cases, the smartphone belonged to the male adult of the household and it made the accessibility of smartphones even less to girls than boys.
Most of these families were not able to afford broadband internet or internet packages to attend the live sessions and the children were relying on the lessons that were being aired on the TV and even in those cases, girls were still not able to watch those lessons since they were busy doing household chores.
Familiarity With The Internet
For teachers who have never used the internet for education, it can be a big challenge as they would have to first set up the internet in their house and then get accustomed to the way online education works. There is a lot of information available on the internet but for a person who has never used the internet before for education, it can be difficult to use the internet for online education. An average teacher who does not have much knowledge about the internet won’t even know how to access the basic settings of the internet modem through the default gateway i.e 192.168.10.1, in case something goes wrong.
Most of the teachers have worked their whole lives in schools, colleges, and universities. They never had to use the internet for education and all of a sudden, expecting them to be up to date with the latest trends and for children to adapt to the digital mode of learning is not fair.
Plus, there are other problems involved too including body language, eye contact which are difficult to perceive in an online class but not so much in a traditional class.
The mental health of students is also affected by online education because it is a mental strain for kids to concentrate and learn something through mobile phones. Young children need physical activities to keep them engaged and it is not only the young generations that are feeling this mental burden, older students such as college-going students have also complained about this.
The value of the physical and practical ways of learning is much more than the online and digital modes of learning. There are some subjects that can be taught easily online but some subjects require physical presence and practical sessions, field trips, etc to understand the theoretical aspects which are not possible in remote learning.
Excessive Screen Time
Excessive screen time is also a major drawback since the students are confined to their smartphones and laptops all the time. Classwork, homework, assignments, exams, and everything else going digital requires children to be attached to their smartphones/laptops all the time and it is not good for their health. It can put a strain on their eyes and affect their mental activity.