Classrooms turned into browser tabs, homework notebooks turned into Word documents, and lunchbreaks disappeared. COVID-19 reared its ugly head, and my school shut down. Students lost valuable learning time because of the viral scare, and a threat of diminished economic prospects followed immediately after. I could not see my friends or teachers anymore. But it was not the end. India, resilient as ever, recovered from the pandemic and so did I. Even after the pandemic, I noticed more autonomy in my own study schedule, since I could choose my online study materials with ease, learn better management, and walk the extra mile with more time available for my extracurricular activities. As institutes all over the country resumed teaching, the boom in technological use proved to be a silver lining. Not only was quality material made available more easily on the internet, but there were also lesser external distractions for determined students.
The pandemic was, in the simplest of terms, a mirror. It showed us our true selves, whether we are capable of handling a national and global biological calamity or not, and more importantly our flaws. Those flaws being a lack of practical knowledge which can be seen in teenagers and young adults in the age group of 13-20. These problems can be addressed by providing teaching in areas of handling financial matters, geopolitical knowledge for proper decision-making in terms of investments or communication, and medical basics that can help dispel myths about vaccinations and viral diseases.
That is only the tip of the iceberg. We still need to make efforts for ensuring that children feel safe and confident enough for leading their future with their own decisions and philosophies by adopting new and improved learning methods. And for that, we need a plan. Hybrid Learning Models that combine the best of both worlds of online and offline teaching are a great way to capture the complete syllabus, and so is more of a personalized learning style for children with special needs that will lead to a student-centric education. Changes in the syllabus can also be made to make it more relevant to today's times and problems. According to the National Education Policy 2020, such changes have been made with a focus on equitable education and critical thinking. Collaboration with EdTech companies is also a good option to ensure continuity of technological growth in the education sector.
The younger generation is the future.
The future can only be conquered by precision and consistent planning, and I believe that not only my nation, but also our global community can make education accessible and bright.