Once Nelson Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world.” This quote only makes sense when we acquire the true education that builds students character, confidence, intelligence and apprehension. Education aids a student in his/her personal development, professional development as well as in social development. Education is a dynamic process and it is evolving constantly. The Gurukul was the India’s first system of education. Around 500BC this system of education used to follow where student and the teacher used to inhabit in close propinquity or in the teacher’s home. It was more prominent during the Vedic period. There were some noted contributors to the history of education in India like Mahatma Gandhi, Aryabhatta, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay. From teaching to technology methods, modern students have access to great resources than ever before. Modern education is based on the holistic approach, it seeks to engage all aspects of learners. Its aim is to make learners creative, innovative, competitive, disciplined, organized, punctual, courteous, honest, optimistic, responsible and resourceful. Prior to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic we were accustomed to traditional classroom settings without having much familiarity with online method of learning or classes. The drastic impact of COVID-19 brought widespread changes all across the globe and during that rough and tough time online mode of leaning came as a savior for students which gained its popularity within a short span of time. Currently, we are living in the digital age where every member in the society is directly or indirectly reliant on computers, tablets, mobile phones etc. Online learning is learning through online/virtual classes at the teacher’s and student’s convenience whereas, offline learning is the traditional learning system where students and teachers interact face to face. Both modes of learning have their pros and cons. Online learning is convenient, flexible and budget friendly where students have access to study materials from the comfort of their homes. Teachers teach their students in a virtual classroom by having a stable and faster internet connection. By enrolling themselves in any university/college without any hindrance students can take the classes online without any urge to attend the classes physically. This mode of learning ingrains habit of self-discipline among students. Without denying the fact, online learning came as a revolutionary in the field of education. The benefits of it are numerous nevertheless; we should not neglect its negative consequences. The habit of reading books decreased significantly as a result of this. It can disturb the students physical health as they usually spend most of the time in their rooms, the lack of physical activities can cause backache, muscle spasm and obesity in them. Student are unable to fully concentrate during online classes as their eyes meander elsewhere on the screen which consecutively upshot in a great amount of stress and anxiety.
“We need to place equal emphases on both modes of learning as both offline and online classes have their own set of proses and cons, neither we should neglect nor become totally dependent on online or offline mode of learning. There should be a proper balance between the two in order for the students to learn more efficiently and effectively.
Online classes require greater exposure to screen time thereby students experience digital eye strains ( group of eye and vision related problems that result from prolonged usage of computers, tablets e-readers & cell phone which causes increased stress to near vision in particular). In addition to that this mode of learning requires a stable internet connection in case, there is poor internet connection speed it can disrupt classes and makes online learning as a troublesome way of learning. Furthermore, students can’t interact with their peers. However, this lack of peer interaction can turn to be detrimental that can impair the students social and emotional development. In addition to, online learning another mode of learning is offline which is the traditional, original, productive and more effective way of learning where students attend lectures in a physical classroom within a given period of time and they have to follow the certain norms of respective institution. This mode of learning focuses on holistic development of students. It incorporates theoretical, practical learning as well as extracurricular activities. Students get time to interact with their peers, teachers and the overall school environment puts a beneficial impact on their development and performance. Fair and appropriate attention is paid to students during offline classes and evaluation can be done by the teacher whether a student is heedful or not. Besides this, students have the opportunity to take part in various co-curricular activities whereby they can showcase their skills and talent. They get a healthy competitive environment that enhances their problem-solving skills, promotes team-work among them and the distractions are not much in this mode of learning. While offline learning undeniably is the original mode of learning though, we can’t repudiate its shortcomings. It requires high travel expenses and is the very expensive mode of learning. Apart from that the lectures once delivered can’t be repeated and it increases the dependency of students on teachers. Learning in any mode is contingent on learners’ thirst for knowledge and on the skills of the instructor to impart that knowledge to students. While traditional classroom learning has unlimited benefits and it can’t be replaced, though online classes can act as a supplement to the education process to make it more interactive and interesting. Online learning is also best for disabled students and for those who could not afford the offline education. We need to place equal emphases on both modes of learning as both offline and online classes have their own set of proses and cons, neither we should neglect nor become totally dependent on online or offline mode of learning. There should be a proper balance between the two in order for the students to learn more efficiently and effectively.
(The author is a student. The views, opinions and conclusions expressed in this article are those of the author and aren’t necessarily in accord with the views of “Kashmir Horizon”.)