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Perks and Woes of the Lockdown: A Student's Point of View

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Introduction

Distraction is common in a student’s life whether it's the bustle in the kitchen during a function or a crowded bus. Every day a student hustles silently to put in the necessary effort to beat tough competition. It’s not about the hours or the number of books or amount of time invested in tuition classes, it is more about the psychological aspect attached to it. With the world reeling under the effects of a pandemic a student is fighting his or her own battle.

Exams are hovering over their mind and the panic created around is somewhat adding to the uncertainty of it all. Most students are under house arrest either due to exams or the pandemic. The lockdown has given them a chance to revise but it has also clouded their judgement. A student now has no idea when his or her academic year will end. Session break gave way to summer vacations and it might now continue further. A board examinee is probably facing the horrors of a lifetime with no further announcements in place. Most state boards have also postponed their exams pushing the envelope further.

This has created a scenario like never before. The ensuing digital age has already made its presence felt. Most schools are conducting classes via video conferencing. Students are now under the unique umbrella of cloud computing. It is interesting to see schools adapting to new-age technology and incorporating it for the benefit of students. Many students are using these platforms to foster hobbies and passions they didn’t get time for. Digital education channels, online tutors and learning platforms are doing brisk business and completely capitalizing on the opportunity. Unacademy has brought out its 21-day package for JEE and NEET. Learning feels easier with helping hands such as these.

Internet service poses to be the real challenge in a situation like this. Most villages or even smaller towns have difficulty accessing internet services. At present only a very small percentage of rural i.e. 14.9% and a moderate percentage of urban i.e. 42%. have access to the internet. We are largely a mobile-aided country. Most of us can operate a cellphone before we lay our hands on a computer. In India majority of the population, about 1,026.37 million are directly or indirectly mobile users. Active and inactive users skyrocketed to 1,176 million in 2018. It’s a good thing that most video conferencing or e-learning apps are mostly made for phones only.

A student needs additional attention and care during these trying times. The lockdown is not just adding to their inquisitiveness, it is also giving them anxiety. With less time on the ground and curbing of outdoor activity, a student has ample time at hand. Whether they master the art of managing precious time judiciously is not just limited to them, parents play a vital role here. A student can help out a parent, reach out to a sibling or even spend time with their grandparents. We are aware that it's a difficult time but then difficult times teach us more than casual ones. The life lessons learned during this time will play a pivotal role in shaping their future.

Our rigid system has also been bent to suit a student’s needs now. Many schools are opting for online exams and the boards are implementing a new model. There is much to learn after the lockdown ends. Practical learning is going to get more prominence in the near future. Various boards will look forward to changing their traditional ways to benefit a student. Colleges and Universities are also bound to adopt to newer ways soon. Most Competitive exams have been postponed due to the lockdown. The plight of students studying outside or looking to study outside though is a matter of concern. There will be major changes on that front as well.

Technology is playing a major role and acting as a bridge for teachers and students. Audio-visual aids and digital platforms have made it easier for teachers to communicate. Prior to the pandemic, we hadn’t heard much about technology been part of the classroom. Now even the remotest school has reformed itself. Many government organizations have been the flag-bearer for this change. Students are roping into this change and adapting to a technology-driven classroom.

Conclusion

A student’s life is much like a trapeze artist walking on a precarious rope. A fumble and you are out of contention. A time such as this reminds us that life is beyond studies and competition. The faster we learn this learn the quicker we can shape and mould our kids.

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