All the threats are…….
The COVID 19 pandemic has created unparalleled turbulence in recent history leaving the common man as well as states with an unimaginable situation where people have been urged to stay home for staying safe. Almost two and a half months after the Lockdown, governments gradually are limping back to post Lockdown reality. This new normal has created new heroes, from the police force to doctors and the lesser heroes in terms of teachers who embraced the situation with all the creativity that only teachers can.
Teaching was one of the few professions that continued to function despite all odds, unleashing the creative energies of teachers who addressed their virtual classes leveraging the technology from, whatsappgroups in the most basic form to zoom classrooms or video lessons uploaded on the YouTube, turningthe teachers into thespians as they faced the camera for their video lectures. Technology became the instrument of experiment and this time the lab was the real-life experience and not a controlled experiment inside a lab with constants and variables. Work from home became a reality as many tasks were executed to greater or lesser degrees. The change was managed automatically. The teachers realigned and restructured the lessons while rejuvenating themselves every day with a greater passion to address their physically absent students. The efficacy and outcome of the methods may be questioned, but there can be little denying that teaching fraternity encountered this threat, by turning it into an immense learning opportunity. Online courses; certifications; webinars; and FDP invitations flooded the mailboxes providing both students and teachers a plethora of platforms for hitherto unexplored realms of learning. It also facilitated interdisciplinary learning, dissolving the technical and non-technical boundaries. The student grew central to this new learning experience unshackled from the constraints of physical attendance; he picked and chose his classes as per his own preconceived ideas or likes and dislikes,some even chose to utilize their time well by pursuing certification courses while others simply took it as an extended holiday.
Learning at least if not education became infinite where the world's best known university Google gave way to a lesser cousin, but far more interactive YouTube, which abounded in everything from cooking classes to repairing the implements.
Digital literacy and digital know-how created a new class, through digital divide: those who could master the game became game-changers and those who could not adopt it were the new have-nots. In all this learning also shifted focus from the earlier theoretical constructs to skill-based learning as a tremendous amount of online content was created for the acquisition of new skills.
As the curtain rises from the lock-down period and we adopt the new normal, one thing is for sure that the greatest learning is not enshrined in world's priceless books, but the real drama of life as it unfolds itself in front of us. The education sector may not retain all the learning's and innovations of this lock-down phase but some of it is here to stay with us forever.