Since the Covid-19 Pandemic has taken the world by storm and panic, schools all around the world have been shut down. In India, schools and colleges have been shut since March 2020 owing to growing cases of covid in the country. The ‘new normal’ has been everything online, from education to the celebration.
The Covid-19 epidemic ushered about a sea change in the global schooling system. Due to the implementation of lockdown, physical classrooms were closed, and online education became the new standard. Although online learning has kept education alive in these difficult times, it cannot replace it. With the situation getting better with time, necessary precautions, and vaccination drives, schools are now giving the option of offline or online school to parents and students. They have announced that it will be purely parents’ consent and responsibility for either of the option.
But as the new variant of Corona, Omicron has started to make headlines in the world, parents are getting sceptical about offline school. Though India hasn’t reported many cases of the same, one cannot be reckless and need to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of all. CBSE is now looking at a three-day online and 3-day offline school plan.
Both online and traditional schooling have their own set of benefits and drawbacks and hence the biggest question now posed to parents is whether to consent for offline school or continue with online schooling. Below we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both to give a clearer picture of the debate.
Online Education – Advantages & Disadvantages
The way education is delivered has permanently altered as a result of technological advancements. In reality, online education has evolved into a flexible teaching technique in which students may readily access study materials from the comfort of their own homes. Here is the list of advantages and disadvantages that’ll help create an adequate picture.
- It’s adaptable; it can be accessed from any place with an internet connection and a device
- Budget-friendly as it saves up commute time and money.
- Attendance is convenient.
- For future reference, class recordings are available and students can attend courses at the time of convenience
- For speedier learning, you’ll have access to excellent visual tools. Visual learning tools have shown to be effective in capturing learners’ attention for extended periods by utilizing excellent graphics elements.
- The biggest advantage of online education is its flexibility. It gives pupils the freedom to establish their learning rate without feeling rushed.
- Online education is theoretical and takes place through the internet. This makes it difficult for pupils to participate in practical learning which is equally important.
- Managing extended hours of screen time has been a major challenge. Online learning necessitates remaining logged in on the screen for an extended amount of time regularly. Long periods of screen usage pose a significant challenge for kids and are damaging to health, particularly the eyes.
- Another downside is that there are technological issues. During online sessions, poor Internet connectivity or power supply difficulties occur often. The most challenging part of keeping a reliable Internet connection is in small towns/cities and metropolitan regions. It obliterates the kids’ ability to learn.
- Individuals may feel alone resulting in mental health deterioration, not everybody has a supportive family, there is little peer support, and group work is not as efficient as it would be if done offline.
- Online students are frequently distracted by a variety of tasks and lack a structured timetable, creating time management problems.
- No major extra-curricular activities for students to participate in.
Offline School – Advantages & Disadvantages
However technologically advanced online education might be, it still cannot replace the traditional mode of offline studying in a set environment of a school. It allows kids to communicate with their peers and professors daily. Technical concerns have little impact on offline education, and it gives a wonderful chance for pupils to build and stick to a strict routine. Furthermore, offline education allows teachers to watch their students’ replies and behaviour and respond appropriately as needed. Here is the list of advantages and disadvantages that’ll ponder upon the scenario.
- Students are completely focused on the class. Within the confines of a physical classroom, there is less distraction for pupils, and kids can manage their time well for other activities as well.
- In the case of offline classrooms, there is face-to-face interaction, especially when instruction is simultaneous. Students and professors have open lines of contact, which allows for spirited debates and discussions.
- Teachers may pay close attention to each student, address their concerns, and resolve them swiftly.
- Because synchronous learning is used, students will be expected to finish their work and projects on time.
- Incorporates both academic and practical components of learning.
- Unlike online classes, offline classes provide a stimulating setting. This adds to the pupils’ overall cognitive and skill development.
- Offline classes have a fixed and rigid schedule.
- It’s possible that students won’t have the opportunity to learn at a time of convenience depending on situations they are in.
- For students who live far from the campus, time management becomes a problem as students must travel to their educational institution’s location for offline lessons. The parents work routine might have a different course. It now becomes tedious to be in sync with the activities.
- For students who missed class or subsequent references, no recording or other kind of data would be accessible.
Precautions for Offline School
Even though the situation has gotten better, the pandemic is not over. Hence for the smooth commencement of offline classes, the government has released guidelines and rules for schools to implement and follow. Masks, sanitisers, social distancing, students in two batches, and vaccinated staff are some of them.
Smartphones and internet access have their own set of disadvantages for young minds if left unmonitored by parents. In an environment where adults themselves get easily distracted, one can think of students and the possibilities that let their focus shift towards something else than the required.
We believe nothing comes close to the traditional schooling approach, as a regular school setup not only imparts curricular knowledge but a lot more. Kids observe and learn a lot practically while commuting, during lunch breaks, lab sessions, play sessions and a lot more. Honestly, there can never be an online education system that completely replaces the experience and learnings of a traditional school setup, no matter what the claims of online classes are.
In the current scenario, no one can be the right judge to decide which – offline or online – is apt for your child. It is you, the parents/guardians, who need to retrospect any past experiences, consider your personal circumstances, financial, health scenario, understand the abilities (psychological, health, learning, self-care) of your child and decide the one best suited, keeping the aspirations of your child in mind.
Hence, the benefits and drawbacks mentioned above might vary from case to case. The ones listed above are only a handful of the most frequent ones and are mentioned to give an idea of both modes. Until things get back to normal, the only thing we can do is staying safe and get the things going in a possible way.