Dr. Shahid Amin Trali

From offline to online- No smooth transaction!

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We are confronted with the rising cases of COVID-19, second wave, throughout the country while the world, all over, continues to suffer at the hands of this deadly virus. But this crisis has to go at some point in time and shall leave some lessons for us to pick and introspect It is the responsibility of the educational institutions to act as real leaders in this hour of crisis.

As the second wave of Covid -19 has gripped the country, we are witnessing a more intense and rapid spike in the active cases per day leading to serious concerns regarding all aspects of human activity as well as human life. The situation that emerges demands more refined and refreshed response from the masses in order to avoid colossal death and destruction that the virus is capable of.

Last year when the lockdown was imposed the government and educational institutions came forward appreciably with the idea of online classes and exams. The digital mode of education became the centre-stage to fill the void left by classroom teaching. However, there is no denying that this online facility could not be availed by a major section of students because of issues of poverty, poor quality of internet access and lack of availability of electricity etc.  The students in rural areas, in particular, were badly hit and the situation has not improved even today when more than one year has already passed.

New Education Policy 2020 rightly emphasized the importance of online education but the Indian Education system is not fully ready for this transformation and the shift from offline to online needs better preparations and must be well supported by the required infrastructure and the facilities. There is a need to strengthen the infrastructure and the resources in order to provide efficient digital education.

There are also other big challenges surrounding the education system in India due to lockdowns like job and financial loss of teachers and institutions, infection in the households, stress and worries etc. making the issues in the education system more complex.

There are many institutions that have set true examples by really showing care for their employees as well as their students. But there are instances where the employees and the students are getting worse treatments by the educational institutions. The management in educational instititutions must not panic and instead try to develop a system that is an ideal one and based on care and rationality. It must not turn into a system that is less productive and is based on anger and frustrations. Most of the educational institutions today are trying to go in a state of hurry using online systems. It can easily put both the teachers and the students under high risk of losing their health. We must not forget that increased use of gadgets and exposure to screens can result in some serious health problems. It is the good health and happiness that will matter most to be more productive. Educational institutions must start giving breaks to students and employees although they are working from home. The continuous work can lead to a situation of burnout. It must be kept in mind that it is only the work that matters with the honest employees whether they are at home or present physically at a work place. It’s by using rigid system organizations may easily trouble their good employees and it either not in the interest of the organizations.

It is the cause of great worry that we are confronted with rising upward cases of COVID-19 second wave throughout the country. But this crisis has to go whether soon or later and it will leave us with a lot of lessons. It is the responsibility of the educational institutions to act as real leaders in the society in this hour of crisis. It’s they who can set good examples for others. Good gestures by them will be remembered for a longer period of time. The employees and the students also have to show care and put in their best efforts for the prosperity of the educational institutions and the society. Education institutes must also spread awareness regarding the pandemic. It is their responsibility to promote COVID appropriate behavior and related information. The country is in deep trouble but everyone must work with unity and with more positivity, care and rationality.

(The writer is Assistant Professor, School of Management, ITM University Gwalior, and a Regular Columnist. He can be reached at- [email protected])


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