No one ever realized that such a microscopic size organism can wreak such a havoc in the entire world and be the reason for thousands of deaths. It is not that such a pandemic has happened for the first time, but in this age of social media liberty where information spread faster than the speed of sound, things look much bigger than they are. A long-lasting impact has been created by the notorious COVID-19 from which it will take many months to recover if not years. The education industry has not been left out and the impact of COVID-19 on student life is visible.
Whether it is the personal life of students or the environment of school and colleges, coronavirus pandemic has changed things that were never thought of before. Various measures have been taken by the boards of education and government bodies to enable education to flow smoothly. The latest, among the various measures taken, is how the results of the board exams were declared. Some exams were left as the COVID-19 lockdown was declared by the government, which initially was thought to be just for two weeks or for a month, but as these weeks started growing into months, examination council decided to declare board results based on the performance of students in the school, nullifying the need to conduct the exams that were left.
This is something that has never happened in my known history and is a big example of the impact of COVID-19 on students’ life. Whether the method used by examination council is effective or not is yet to be seen, but certainly, it was a big blow to those students who had the habit of studying only during the end time of the school session, for those who had been studying throughout the year there would have been nothing to be worried about. So, if this trend continues than quite possibly every student will have to study throughout the year, something which is good for the education industry, for the students and the society and nation as a whole.
COVID-19 lockdown and the dire need to continue with the college and school education has certainly benefited online alternatives to provide education such as ZOOM or Google Classroom as the demand for such things has grown leaps and bounds during the COVID-19 lockdown. Certainly, the theoretical material will be imparted on time to students, but the overall development of students will be missing here. It will not be possible to inculcate the habit of discipline and decorum among students. These are the times that will never come back and as there is no other alternative available, students are devoid of the actual work environment of a school or college. Numerous social and cultural activities will be missed because of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Things are fine for families who can afford a laptop or a smartphone along with the monthly expense of internet plus other variables so their children can attend the online classes at various platforms. However, there is a large section of children who go to government schools and colleges, and their parents are not in a position to buy them such things so they can attend online classes. The life and future of these students are left in doldrums and there are no indications as to when things will return to normal. These children are left with no other option but to brave the threat of COVID-19 and attend their classes or stay at home. A few days back, there was news stating a family had to sell their buffalo, their primary earning source, so they could buy a smartphone and their kids could attend online classes.
This is not all, moving on to higher education and premiere teaching institutions like Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Jhanjeri, which have been forced to discontinue their traditional classes, citing the threat of COVID-19, students are unable to practice things in the state-of-the-art laboratories where they can put their theoretical knowledge to practical use and bring out the best of innovation in them. Even though CGC Jhanjeri is making every possible arrangement to ensure students get the best of educational and academic inputs, but when it comes to practicing things in labs, or having industrial exposure that is being arranged regularly by the college for its students. It is also not possible to arrange for various cultural activities that are held by CGC Jhanjeri now and then. So, in essence, students are not able to receive the kind of well-planned grooming that is provided at these colleges. Here, we can see that online education will not be able to provide for everything. Call it what you may, this is what the next generation students will have to live with, as pandemics like these are here to say till the time no vaccine is developed for it.
Time and again, mankind has to face various types of challenges, several disease outbreak have happened in the past and numerous lives were lost to it. In 2020, we are going through just another such phase, and as one famous philosopher has said, “this too shall pass”, the havoc created by the COVID-19 will be controlled one day. Till that time this happens, we will have to adjust our lives according to it. At the moment, it is difficult to ascertain the whole impact of COVID-19 on students’ life, as we are still going through it and new problems are cropping up with each passing day.
It is a big challenge for every student and also for educational institutions to impart and continue with the studies at this time when touching someone means catching a life-threatening disease. Students will have to show discipline towards their life and their study as there is no one to check on them, only then they can think of getting the best from this troubled time. The crux of the matter is we need to stay motivated at all times and keep making efforts in the right direction, while maintaining utmost precautions at all times. First is the good health of everyone and second comes good education.