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Education Without Classrooms?

‘Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man’.  It involves with a systematic creative form of learning for all people of the world facilitating the growth to great heights. It is a formula that engages the basic functions of the developing brain and has a positive influence on human growth. Classroom is the effective tool to make education healthy and fruitful. Therefore, ‘classroom environment is one of the most important factors affecting student learning.’  ‘Students learn better when they view the learning environment as positive and supportive.’  It has been studied that ‘a positive environment is one in which students feel a sense of belonging, trust others, and feel encouraged to tackle challenges, take risks, and ask questions.’ It ‘provides relevant content, clear learning goals and feedback, opportunities to build social skills, and strategies to help students succeed.’ Research has proved that classroom teaching not only impacts the students but also the teachers. It is free and safe for the learners; it shapes the learner’s morale/behaviour.

Since March 2020 (in times of the covid-19 pandemic and aftermath), students irrespective of their standard (school, college or university level) are deprived of the opportunity of classroom education. On-line or virtual education has taken place of classroom education. They who have the opportunity have to attend virtual education, and it is practically a setback to the generation in education.

Learners are facing lots of problems and their future of education has been turned into an adverse situation. There are so many lackings faced by the learners. It is not only hampering individual growth and development, but also the future of the world. In virtual education, there is no scope of collaborative learning which increases self-awareness. It is not easy to adopt easily and effectively. Therefore, there is little chance of transforming them into keen learners. It does not enhance students’ critical thinking skills because of the lack of scope of live discussions to formulate opinions or arguments. The classroom education facilitates social interactions with peers and strengthens rapport with teachers. But in virtual education, students are deprived of this scope. But they are engaged in the virtual world of interaction affecting their mental crisis, behaviour and ill-habits. The classroom teaching is usually designed with several tasks which help to develop organisational skills. The physical presence of a teacher effectively stimulates students through the interactive and interesting activities.  ‘Teachers can modify their teaching style based on types of learners in their classroom i.e. classroom activities can help visual learner, interactions can help auditory learners, etc. Teachers can get a clear idea whether students are following what has been taught or they require further explanation. At the same time, students can get their doubts clarified immediately before moving ahead in a topic.’  Classroom teaching inculcates conflict resolving skills, presentation skills when it comes to presenting their ideas confidently in front of peers, develops team spirit and teaches them to get along with those from different cultural backgrounds. Such experiences are valuable in shaping students’ communication and listening skills, as well as growing and maturing emotionally.’

But due to the unpredictable nature of this pandemic, when classrooms would resume, is also unpredictable, especially in India. The government is not taking any risk. It is further jeopardizing the future of the learners. At the time of the new normal period, the students are attending tutorial classes without any hitch. They are freely moving outside their home. To protect the interest of learners’ growth and development, the government should reconsider about the re-opening of the classrooms.

 

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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Written by Harasankar

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