Decision taken in haste
Jammu and Kashmir Education Chamber (JKEC) an organization of various educational bodies working in Jammu and Kashmir demanded a roll back of the fresh government order regarding the online classes and claimed that the education policies cannot be changed based on a viral video.
The amalgam had many reasons to disagree with the government as a major policy decision was announced earlier this week after a six year old girl’s video surfaced on social media platforms where she requested Prime Minister Naridra Modi to ease the educational burden on minor kids.
The kid complained of lots and lots of home work and long duration online classes for her stress and getting lesser time to play. The child is a mere six year old and not wise enough to decide what is ideal for her. For all practical purposes she is a minor and does not know much about learning and teaching issues.
The onus of the video lies on her parents, who it seems like other parents want o escape the online classes that were started out of compulsion due to the covid-19 pandemic as schools faced closure across the world.
Since online mode of education is new and even the teachers face lot of difficulty in educating the children through it, the onus to make this system of learning a success depends on parents in most of the cases.
The parents who in many cases are working do not have the time to sit with their kids and address their learning needs. Hence this video should have been taken into consideration keeping in view the circumstances that prevailed in that particular family. This cannot be generalized so as to target the entire students community.
But what the government did was in abject haste as no stakeholders or other opinions were considered either by the government or the education department. The move proved to be impeding the learning process to a great extent as the online mode of education and its efficacy and usefulness are still being debated.
The online mode of education is totally different from the physical form of classes where the teacher interacts with the kids and understands their learning capacities through verbal and non-verbal communication. Besides, the physical form of classes is direct communication between the teacher and the child and almost all the barriers in this communication process are almost non-existent.
In case of the online mode of education the entire process is flawed as the process is assisted by technology and is a one way process of learning. Experts have already expressed reservations on such mode of learning but in present times this seems the only medium available that can help the children to learn.
Therefore, arriving at a decision to reduce the online timings should have come after wider consultations, opinions and a wide based feedback from the parents as well. The video by a five or six year old kid should not have dislodged the entire system within hours. This issue should have been debated to arrive at any conclusion.