Education seems to be the most corrupt of things happening these days and the teachers are the goons making a fool of masses! Besides, this whole online attempt to keep learning on track is all the more mischievous because it is driven by selfishness! Do you believe in these sentiments of the market these days? If yes, this is not a post for you. May you be blessed by what you believe in!
Those who have been even lazy viewers of what has been happening in education shall know that teachers have been making ICT based initiatives and trends long before the boom came when it all turned into an industry. The market is big now and we have big players entering into education as if it is richer than oil or telecom or real-estate. But, still, we, the educators see the apathy towards education. The trust deficit that is in the world around us sometimes drives us sad and depressed. Then we see the small changes we have been able to bring in our students. This makes us stand up again and we again log-in into the system and start taking another ONLINE Lecture.
No doubt, we cannot replace ourselves by teaching online. People who are advising us that online classrooms cannot replace the real ones are forgetting a SIMPLE fact. The fact is that they are telling this to the same, exactly, the same people - who have established their 'belief' in the 'real classroom'. Now if the same soldiers are fighting another battle to win yet another side of life, they are advised against it.
Dear World! We are pretty well informed and aware of the pandemic’s impact on humans. As we also live with families, have children who also get homework, we also have elders who studied in the real-honest classrooms. We know that Online Teaching cannot even attempt to match what we are in the classrooms when things are normal. This forced Online-Teaching (Feeding) seems futile to all because the whole world seems to have woken up to education now. We all just see Online classes or Webinars happening. We see that excessive dependence on these things is fatal. But, we teachers always knew this and that is why we never advocated the transfer of technology to the classroom and exit of the teacher. The best to happen to education is a Tech-enabled Teacher who knows what to use and how to use for sustainable learning.
We have been facing the wrath of the parents as well as that of the policy heads, who are chasing all teachers with the same stick. Try to understand the scenario here: We never trained a great number of teachers in the comfortable use of technology and now we expect them to be perfect with what they do online? Isn’t that an irony!
It is not our fault that the governments have come with enforcements on us about pushing the students away from comfortable learning. You know, dear commentator, we have been left to do the job of a ring-master. We knew how Students Learn, but none asked us. Policies came from the socially distanced offices and we are left to send notes, make-upload videos on YouTube, make calls and keep records, work for NAAC and other inspections as well, and more than that, we also need to be home, with our own families. Many teachers used to do their job quite well in the formal hours, one can see them searching for a quite-corner in the house for recording their lecture. The 09 to 05 job has become a Sunrise to sunset job. I cannot deny that the fall in the quality of interaction can surely be a concern and a valid reason. But we all have a crisis these days, we all are managing with the scarcity of so many things. Can’t we give small weightage to the teachers as well?
So, while distrust is imposed on teachers, the other stakeholders (Parents, Policy Makers, Institutional leaders and even students) need to know, teachers do enjoy a certain immunity because of their works. This does not mean they are immortals, but they do deserve to be trusted.
I wish to underline one thing in clear words here. Those who teach are teachers and those who do not, this piece of writing is not for them, but TO THEM.
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Crediting lockdown for the rise of Tech-based teaching-learning is not that apt. However, news reports make things look newsworthy. Eminent scientist Professor CNR Rao said the following, as quoted in the news reports. I wish to stress on the fact that you must see yourself:
The lines I have quoted are the only lines about education in that news supplied by the PTI. He spoke more on the apathy and failure of administration and governments, he is angry about Unlock -1 and so on. But, what can make news is what becomes a headline.
Online Classes Cannot Inspire Young Minds, Says Eminent Scientist Professor CNR Rao
In the precisely 315 words news report he said the following about education:
Eminent scientist Professor CNR Rao on Monday spoke out against introducing online classes for children in view of the COVID-19-induced close-down of schools, underlining the importance of human interface for good communication and inspiring young minds.
"I am not an enthusiast about online teaching. We need human interface with students for good communication. That is how young minds can be inspired"
(Prof Rao, has put it in most rational words that human interface is needed for good communication and inspiration – if a teacher can touch upon these hallmarks, even when online, hopefully, that is not a bad thing. Besides, he mentioned schools, and we have applied it to all type of education, be it HigherEd as well.)
Taking the above quote from him and the intro passage, it is 61 words. What is there in the news then to say that he spoke to reject ONLINE TEACHING!
He said beyond those 61 words: Most of all, he is shocked by the indiscipline of even "educated people" in the fight against the COVID-19.
One can go to the news feed by PTI read for himself what was there for education and what was there for the general public. He did not ask for a ban on teaching, neither he asked us to stop, he merely gave his opinion which is VERY WELL Understood by teachers already. But, we need to teach; we cannot abandon our students like... Let it go!
Do not worry, we are not taking undue advantage of the lockdown. As teaching is possible only via online mode-during this lockdown, we are doing it via online mode only. The tech-based teaching & learning has been an integral part otherwise as well. Once things get normal, the teacher shall be the first person to unlock the doors and take the dust off from the desks, welcoming the students with a smile!
Till then, trust us, support us, guide us and do not instruct us!
Read More: Teaching for Learning