Pandemic Era: What Holds for Students’ Future?
Edits| 22 May 2021
Examinations to be held during the pandemic era, causes concern not only for health but also for the future. Our education system is based on Placements. The placements are based on careers, engagements and the companies which offer that. After the pandemic, or during the pandemic these have undergone a substantial change. So much so that some of the best and fought for professional degrees have started looking irrelevant. We will have to reinvent the degrees that were offered in normal times, either in their own curriculum, or more radically Scrap those exams and create new ones.
If the pandemic was not to go for the next 4-5 years, or it has to be fiercely managed for the coming times, as it is now, we should foresee starting from the next year a change in curriculum and methods of teaching. Online education though is convenient but it does not solve the clarity tendered to students for complex concepts. The teachers are now struggling to clear them, and the students, due to lack of physical experience and interactivity are not very sure about the concept. What would transpire is that they will be limited only to solving questions in a book like a key.
That was not supposed to be education that we need. Just imagine the forthcoming brand of tutors, who themselves are not clear on concepts. It is by no means being said here that the students are incapable of deciphering a concept but a large number of them will definitely sense that the internet does not offer a physical handshake. Yet. Even technologies like AI and we may not suffice.
Even if the entire population was to get vaccinated by the end of the year, as put by the health minister, the students will not get vaccinated by the end of the year. The third dose of vaccination will be due for the adults, while the students age group will begin getting vaccinated. This poses a danger not only for two exams, Appearing in crowded examination halls, contamination to the invigilator, and mass movement of students across cities.
It is then suggested that all of education for the next 45 years should be taken online, whatever be the consequences, and the results be declared so that there is no loss of time on a year-to-year basis. Just waiting for the pandemic to get over, or the infection levels to subside will not work as they have become regional specific. Even if there is a decreased infection level in one state of India, the other states would be under a lock down, severely compromising the work ability of conducting a national level exam. The Ministry of Health needs to be in consultation with the Ministry of Education and various departments of education at both levels of higher education and university education to solve this problem. Now that we have already left for about 15 months in this pandemic Eire, there is enough data in the system to plot an alternative plan. Fearing this, the politicians will have a field day and the students will give go and be educated, without a job, and more so without clarity in what they want to do in their life – or what is possible to do in life.
CA Divesh Nath
LinkedIn: Divesh Nath