The choice between online and offline education

Despite years of calls to reform and shake-up the formal school system that’s been ingrained within us since Victorian days, it has taken the challenge of the pandemic to show us that the seemingly impossible can be done. In two years, necessity has revealed that learning can happen beyond the confines of a single room… it can cross cities, countries and cultures.

Online coaching has been a real game changer in education. Initially it provided temporary relief during a
difficult situation, but for many it has become a permanent solution to the voids created by geographical
limitations: parents can select teachers from a wider pool of options and criteria that suit the specific needs of their child, while teachers can cast out their net to a wider audience, capturing the attention and interests of students from afar. The whole idea of the classroom becomes more diverse, engaging and inspiring. In more practical terms, time and expenses are saved in travelling. Why travel across a city when a class can be conducted in the comfort and safety of one’s own home, continuing regardless of whatever ongoing, external uncertainties are taking place?

The leaps in technological advances of recent years have made all this possible. Imagine how differently the situation would have played out had the pandemic hit barely ten years ago? The way in which our children have been able to continue both their education and socialisation within the unimaginable challenges we have faced is a lot to feel grateful for. In fact, the transition to online schooling has been so swift and seamless that we have even created and normalised the term “off-line schooling” to refer to the centuries-old system of schooling! It shows that both types of schooling are successfully interchangeable. Also, how quickly we adapt!

This is not to deny the practicalities and benefits of physical learning. Where else would a child enjoy cricket than in the gullies behind home playing with friends. Or learn the nuances of piano-playing without the hands-on guidance of a trained musician? Certain social cues that enable a child to truly engage cannot reach through the screen. In that sense online schooling will never replace what it means to be human and nor should it attempt to. But it does fling open the doors to a world of unprecedented possibilities. How we make the most of these new opportunities is completely in our hands.




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