Since the past two years, the way we view education has changed dramatically. After centuries of the formal school system, the pandemic has shown us that the teacher and student need not be in the same room, or even in the same city. Or for that matter, the same country.
Online coaching started as a necessity during the pandemic and was met initially with skepticism. Two years on, not only has it become acceptable but is also a conscious choice one may make. Virtual classrooms mean that we parents are no longer limited by geography when considering the best options for our children. Teachers too are offering classes online in order to cater to more students than before. The idea of being able to choose the most suitable teacher for our children, even though that teacher may be on the other side of town, is a game changer. The time and expense saved in travelling, the advantage of being able to continue to avail an education from the comfort and safety of one’s own home, regardless of external uncertainties – as parents we should be grateful for the technology that has allowed this. Imagine if the pandemic had hit barely ten years ago? Our children would have lost years of learning, unthinkable today but a very realistic scenario when we were growing up. Online coaching has definitely come a long way since from being considered a necessary evil and is here to stay. As evidenced by the many tools and solutions now available to facilitate virtual learning, meaning parents and children no longer feel that choosing to study online is a compromise.
That is not to say that one must disregard offline teaching. Where else would a child learn to play cricket than in the gullies behind his home with his friends or at the grounds with his coach? Or play the piano without the hands-on guidance of a trained musician? And there is no denying the benefits of learning amongst fellow students, with a teacher able to engage with them more effectively than a computer screen might allow.
There are so many variable factors involved in making this choice – what is the subject matter being taught, the expertise of the teacher, whether it suits your child – that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. But yes, the new post-pandemic world offers our children unprecedented possibilities and it is up to us to make the most of it.