Challenges of the Simulated Educational Training of Children
As has been propagated by the governments across the nation, that online education has been quite successful and inclusive during the pandemic period, but closer look shows that a specific kind of anomaly gets unaddressed intentionally by the governments and does not get reflected in the implementation of the educational policies. This anomaly is about the ambiance setting in which the children have to adjust themselves when they are denied the natural environment of school atmosphere, which includes a focused and immersive set of activities that keep the children engaged in a range of activities from learning to interacting to entertainment to sports and culture.
Not every household is in a capacity to afford a sound and healthy space of learning for their children at home. And online classes exert extra mental and physical pressure on the young and budding minds. In most of the cases, even the family is drawn into this problem-solving scenario with the children. Which leads to the emergence of a number of other issues, which are quite essential in nature for a family that lives on making ends meet on a daily basis. What is more concerning in the whole cyclical process of survival, is that the destined goal does not get any appearance by the end of the day. While talking to some of the kids on the subject of online education and the difficulties faced in terms of the ambiance setting around them, I got an array of answers, which make us see the world that is usually never talked about. Over the past two years, in their words, they have not had any improvement in their knowledge and skills, and the school administration shows a tokenistic attitude on the matter. Administration sees their achievement in just completing the syllabus and moving on to the next session, bypassing the core of the learning experiences of the children.
One among the teenager, from the settlement area, says, During the class hours, we have to multitask. We have no other option but to take part in the household chores on a daily basis, even when the classes are going on. Sometimes, the connectivity is so low that we can not even hear or see what is being taught in the virtual classroom. But it is good for us that in some classes, which we do not like, we can make excuses for being absent. The impact of this virtually simulated space and time related activities is unfolding in multi-fold layers for the young children. At one time, they see a subtle opportunity to trespass the limitations, that would have been there in physical classroom, in virtual reality, but the question is about their learning abilities, skills, interactions with the other members of the classroom and above all what role can they play with such a fractured method of knowledge gaining platform. At a certain point of time in their lives, they have to step out of these state-imposed educational systems, and develop their cognitive abilities, so as to question the society and the ambiance around them in a firmer way.
So, the negotiating nature of the learning through virtual terrains, provokes one to think of the vanishing points of formative years in the lives of these teenagers. In my opinion, the trajectory, no doubt, will lead to some of the emerging debates around the evolving hybrid model of education, which should and must focus on the children, from the section of the class and caste oriented society, who are deprived of every upcoming opportunity and change that take place in any nation.
*Information based on the conversation with teenager kids from the nearby slum area.
Chandan Kumar is currently enrolled in Ph. D. Program in the Center for Visual Studies, SAA, JNU.
He actively writes blog on my observations and Studies of Cinema from across the world, art exhibitions, & theatre performances. He is a Content Writer Intern at Kanyaka Foundation.