Only yesterday, there was an advertisement by Lenovo which called out the very poor student-teacher ratio of the nation and with the outbreak of a global pandemic, situations of our education system are only going down the ruins. If we talk about figures, we face a lack of one million teachers in the country. Now the solution which Lenovo and many other multinational companies provide is smart technology to reach out to students.
What all of us forget behind these fancy smart technology ideas is that our nation doesn’t only lack a very shocking number of teachers, but also is poverty stricken, or has thought processes which don’t put education at the first or even tenth priority. With a global pandemic in rise, the education system of the country has been trying to make necessary changes from online classes to providing e-resources, but is it really helping? Today, as a student at one of the best universities in the country and the world,it is noticeable that people come from extensive and diverse backgrounds. Now, when the word diverse is being used, it can be in terms of economic background too, which brings out the point that not everyone can gain access to online classes and e-resources, not everyone is that privileged, and sometimes it is not even the problem of not being privileged enough, it is also about the geographic location where one resides. But, the foremost point of importance is that the privilege to sit back, attend online classes and read e-material is not available to many.
The mere fact that one’s university was planning to have online exams came as a shock to the entire teaching faculty and the students, because of the lack of the availability of resources amongst half of the student population. There was an outbreak of cry for help when my university made it compulsory for every student to fill their examination forms online, even though it had been filled oﬄine once. All of this proves that there is a sheer lack of resources amongst many. Now, what the point here is that these are only instances of one university, not even schools are included in this example. We already face so many diﬃculties in terms of education as a country that this pandemic hasn’t added to. A documentary on Indian education clearly explained that even if we keep aside the monetary issues, the foremost issue that a child or a student who wants to get enrolled in a college faces is the very lack of motivation and support from family. Education is not given enough importance.
Henceforth, with this pandemic in hand, it hampers not only the ability of education reaching many, as it did in earlier times, but it also hampers the child’s motivation to get there and learn from whatever material is available to them, as they’re in an unsupportive environment. We need to understand that the environment plays a huge role in making and breaking students, or for that matter a normal human being. Beyond all these visible diﬃculties, there exist students who fight through mental health issues and most of the time, as can be drawn from many examples, it stems from home. The root cause of these issues lies in the family they live and breathe in. With constant and never ending exposure to the same, and also non-exposure to their respective medical or psychological help aﬀects one’s cognitive ability to regular activities, let alone studying, and making the most out of their education.
Thus, all these issues and so many more which are being addressed silently and not being talked about, hampers the entire education system of the country at this point of a global pandemic.
Now, beyond all that is being done - to which maybe we should applaud - but does that mean it is solving the grave problem of the rampaging education system.
As we talk about the odds not being on our side this year, we need to look at the fact that there are so many questions of many competitive exams being cancelled, given these testing times. What we miss out is that there are lakhs of students each year who take a gap year to prepare for these examinations. What about them? How do we recompense their loss, if there is any? After all, these things are to be tackled by the education system of the country.
Now, these problems need apt solutions, and that too really quick as these changing and ever-evolving times need speedy solutions.
As a student, one can only hope for better days.
(Winner of 'Call for Writers' Essay Competition by KhoonKhas in Teenager category)
Arundhati’s essay highlights the challenges that our education system faces, particularly with regards to accessibility.
In a dynamic environment, it becomes pertinent to be equipped to keep up with technological advancements.
Khoon has been an advocate for training technicians at blood banks, and has also conducted sessions across Bengaluru regarding the usage of digital tools to increase blood donations.
Today, we can see a rise in voluntary blood donation via such tools, and hope to see a positive change in the field of blood donation now and in the future.