How Covid-19 and online education impacted practical-based courses: What you need to know4 min read
It has been more than a year that Covid-19 began its impact on our lives. Most aspects of our day-to-day life are still dictated and subject to changes due to the wreck Covid-19 continues to unleash upon this world.
It is not an unknown fact about how this perilous virus has drastically changed the face of education in India. The education sector hardly had any time to adjust to the changing times.
From teaching in real physical classrooms, learning in India, along with the rest of the world, suddenly shifted to online ‘classrooms’.
Impact on practical-based subjects
Despite the adoption of online education gaining momentum, this mode of learning cannot compensate for classroom learning.
This form of education is inherently flawed and lacks the basic elements of quality education such as the formation of a teacher-student relationship and the facility to carry out practical.
A new academic year will begin again, and students will again be at crossroads, in terms of which course to pursue. Covid-19 and the restrictions made it difficult for the students to choose a course of their choice.
While theory-based subjects such as English, sociology, or other humanities courses have accommodated well in this environment of online education, practical-based courses such as BSc, bachelor’s in biotechnology, or engineering, among others, have faced severe downside.
For example, a laboratory experiment that involves electrical/mechanical heavy equipment cannot be performed by students in an online setting. Lack of practical knowledge has been a burning issue ever since the initiation of online education.
Should students then enroll to practical-based subjects?
In spite of all the hurdles and troubles that will ensure if students opt for practical-based subjects in these months, academic life dominated by online education shouldn’t serve as the sole reason for not choosing a course the student genuinely likes.
While it is an undeniable fact that the absence of access to labs means that the theoretical knowledge of students wouldn’t have the opportunity to translate to practical knowledge.
Vaccination and opening up of higher education institutions
One positive side that should help students make the right decision is the ongoing vaccination drives and at the pace that these are being conducted.
Several states have opened educational institutes, especially higher education for those fully vaccinated. it is also true that their entire academic career in higher education won’t be held captive by online education.
Even during the first half of 2021, various authorities of different colleges and universities had decided to call back their final year students or students enrolled in practical-based courses.
Thus, the authorities concerned are aware of the need for practical education in a student’s life; therefore, they fight tooth and nail to ensure their arrival to the campus.
New approach to online education
The faculty of various colleges and universities have put their heart and soul into ensuring that they continue to deliver the best quality education to the students, despite the constraints put on them.
They usually save their practical’s for when the students will be physically brought back to campus. They also look for alternatives through which they can disseminate a resemblance, if not a replica, of the quality education they have been previously credited for, before Corona changed our lives forever.
In tandem with this thought, professors are resorting to using AI (Artificial Intelligence) and AR (Augmented Reality) to compensate for the lack of practical.
This concept is quickly gaining ground in this remote learning era. Though not a feasible replacement of actual practice, the induction of such technology-based practicals should encourage students to not swerve from their decision of enrolling in a practical-oriented subject.
As an example, there are companies that support many institutions across India by providing them with applications that help educators create virtual laboratories and home lab kits. These are providing an actual practical knowledge.
Desirability toward a course
Another important criterion that should push the students in the right direction is their level of likeability for the subject.
If a student holds a level of affection towards a subject, even if it is practical based, no virus should have the upper hand and compel them to make wrong decisions.
Therefore, with the right level of dedication and patience, students can manage their way through online education and anticipate their arrival in their respective campuses, sooner or later.
Students must have the ability to straighten up these few bumps’ life has thrown that way and try to make the most of their time.
Thus, no restraint, let alone a virus like Covid-19 should be bestowed with so much power that it will stop a student from following their heart.
If willing to accommodate for a few months, the prevailing situation would never be considered to serve as a reason for opting out of a practical based course. With optimism, students should march ahead and await a bright future, no matter the prevailing situation.
– Article by Vivek Jain, Chief Business Officer, Shiksha.com and Naukri Fastforward
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