In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus outbreak has changed the way students used to get their education. From waking up at 8 AM to attend classes at 9 AM, and worrying about the next big exam, learners are now home-schooled to maintain social distance.
Today, almost all the schools, colleges, and universities within the UK are observing a lockdown to keep the children. With the death toll rising to 16,000 and active cases 124,000, the UK government has hinted to keep the educational institutions shut till September 2020. Yet, there is no official release to support this statement.
This epidemiological situation is worrisome for both the administration and the students as there is no sign of when the coronavirus will end. Having said that, now learners are more concerned about their health and safety more than the grades. However, the institutions decide to continue their academic year in a different format, i.e. online. For students enrolled in some of the top institutes, may have experience taking online classes but it’s new for most of them.
So, let’s explore what constitutes ‘distance learning’ and its expected obstacles.
Remote learning or distance education is a term that is not new. Most of the schools in European countries have been practising this tool for a while to make education more efficient. However, today this pandemic has forced every other school to adopt this methodology to keep their students engaged and on the right track.
Distance learning or online learning depends upon your institute’s policy, teachers and your academic level. There are several online tools to help learners stay connected with their teachers and progress. Moreover, many schools have provided their pupil with the necessary devices and materials so that they don’t face any challenges while attending classes from home. But with the ease to study remotely, there are several hurdles that a student has to go through. Mentioned below are some of the downsides of distance learning.
No matter how modern we become, nothing can beat the environment of traditional classes. For students who need guidance on every step may have difficulties in coping up with the online lessons. Since there is no face-to-face communication, you must understand that there is no support and learners do face problems in formulating questions and asking for help.
The other factor that makes distance learning a no-no is lack of discipline in students. You may have observed punctuality, time-management, organising and other kinds of skills in a student attending traditional classes. They know they have to meet certain deadlines to achieve the scores they require. However, in distance learning, there is no specific schedule. The student is responsible for planning, organising and managing each task without the professor’s supervision. Ultimately, they end up asking can you do my assignment as they are already running schedule with tons of untouched coursework.
In regular classes, a lot of learning is happening in groups where one student learns from another student either it is for the assignments, quizzes or exams. However, there is no such thing in remote learning as each learner is located miles away and restricted to remain inside due to this pandemic. They have to understand the materials and solve the problems on their own. Eventually, they start feeling lonely and isolated.
However, despite all these drawbacks, the campuses around the UK are pushing to move the education online. Why? Keep reading to explore the reason.
At first, not all schools were asked to suspend their activities, but after the restrictions put by the UK Prime Minister, there is a ban on public gatherings. Students are no more allowed inside the campus, which forced the administrators to continue education online. This decision was primarily taken to protect the students’ safety without affecting their academics.
Some of the schools have provided their pupil with sanitizers and hand soaps to encourage them to keep themselves clean at home. They are also having counselling sessions online to help the learners know about the COVID-19 – its symptoms and preventive measures. These decisions will not only help the students but the professors as well to stop the spread of this disease.
The transition from traditional classes to online classes will bring some challenges. Needless to say, it is not easy for the professors to deliver a lecture to more than 30 students with each of them connected virtually, online classes would be a great challenge. While some of them may sleep behind their laptop, others will disturb the class as they used to in schools, there are several hurdles that will come.
Moreover, the differently-abled students may have trouble operating the device and logging in and off on their own. It is also a possibility that students who live in less developed areas face issues connecting to the internet. However, keeping all these things in mind, it is on us now to work together to make this concept successful to rely on it in the future.
It is evident that the UK government is doing its job, taking every measure to keep its citizen safe and putting education as its top priority. Now, it is our responsibility to practice preventive measures and stay calm in this pandemic.
Stay indoors and keep your hands clean at all times. If you have minor flu – cough or sneeze, avoid meeting people and quarantine yourself. Remember, isolation doesn’t mean you cut off your loved ones. You can use the internet to stay connected with your family and keep yourself up to date with the COVID-19 facts and statistics. Moreover, restrict yourself and your family members to go to large gatherings. Make sure to only leave the home in case of an emergency.
Lastly, if you or anyone around you has developed symptoms for the coronavirus, contact the UK authorities to get the treatment started immediately. This is high time that we take this pandemic seriously and obey all rules and advices given by the govern