Universities of WhatsApp and Facebook
No matter whether you happen to be a never-graduated type, a graduate, a Post-graduate, a man or a woman, a father or a mother, a teacher or a trader or a student or a vegetable- seller! Today all of us have a chance for online learning.
Covid-19 or no Covid-19! Whether it is gardening or trade-skills or honing your chances for studies abroad, everything is only one finger touch away on your mobile phone screen.
If it is some serious work at home, you are likely to feel fatigued and you may tend to find excuses to avoid doing it. Yet when it comes to scrolling of chats on WhatsApp, it may be an hour or more before you know how you have kept awake even past midnight. So engrossing and savoury like the proverbial bone in the dog’s mouth is this indulgence that even the so called wise people find themselves neck deep in the habit of gaining and doling out online wisdom.
Beauty and health tips are bundled out in such immense doses that one wonders why there exist any hospitals or medical colleges at all . They have a remedy for all kinds of human afflictions and their claims seem to be unbeatable. Yet where is the authenticity of the ICMR to back these formulae!
We know very well how feverishly the researchers are working to come up with a vaccine against Covid-19. Even having hit upon something viable they have to test it at length and prove that it is universally applicable without any negative fallout.
However, the people in our groups are so confident in recommending concoctions which they have never tested. Strangely, we tend to believe these doses of wisdom. As for the Covid pandemic, there are counsels to take lemon in hot water. Then there is the decoction of tulsi, mint, cloves, black-pepper, ginger, fennel and licorice suggested as an immunity builder against Corona.
We are also advised to inhale steam thrice a day and drink turmeric in milk. Vitamin D and C are the promised guards against any harm from Corona. We should better not forget to take cinnamon, garlic, cumin and a spoon of chyavanprash!
It is like a University dealing in distance learning and thus mailing so much of curriculum to the student that he finds it difficult to decide as to what is to be retained and used and what should be dismissed as bunkum.
The volley of wisdom bombarded at you is so enormous that you just buckle under it. Eventually, you try to believe and test one revelation and then the other. Finally, you have no chance left but to half trust and half distrust them. Thus the whole distance learning from these universities proves more frustrating than rewarding.
(The author is a Retired Principal, Government College, Hoshiarpur , Punjab. He regularly contributes to Kashmir Vision)