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Covid-19 propels online tutoring, e-learning

Covid-19 propels online tutoring, e-learning
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Covid-19 propels online tutoring, e-learning

Highlights

Teaching profession in India has embarked on a different trajectory owing to the digitisation of learning and tutoring.

New Delhi: Teaching profession in India has embarked on a different trajectory owing to the digitisation of learning and tutoring. While many occupations could not sustain in the year 2020, educational startups and teachers have found the common platform of e-learning to keep the process of learning alive and interactive.

Dr Vivek Singh, a Political Science professor at Allahabad University, Uttar Pradesh, joined edutech startup TeachMint in September. "I've been a professor for close to six years now. When the lockdown period started off, the university asked us to take up classes online. I took regular classes via Zoom and Google Meet, but it had its own challenges since the method of video calls with class-full of people turned out to be a cumbersome process."

While most teachers and tutors found a way to engage with students via app-based learning platforms, the path to knowledge dispersion hasn't been easy. As the tech-savvy younger generation of students and teachers explore the many features of virtual learning, some still prefer the standard way of tutoring.

Dr Singh, who is now teaching approximately 1,000 students via TeachMint app said, "The younger generation of undergraduate and postgraduate students are excited to learn in a virtual classroom, but students who are preparing for competitive exams at times have a hard time adjusting to it. They still prefer face-to-face interaction and conventional method of tutoring." Private tutors, too, have collaborated with education startups. Lakhan Bhagnani, a private tutor for three years, joined online teaching platform UnAcademy, post-lockdown to continue coaching students at school level.

"All my students (class 9 and 10) attend the classes regularly but since I cannot see their faces on-screen, it becomes difficult for me to assess if they are able to grasp the lessons. We too, on our end, face some difficulties while conducting classes from home such as bandwidth problem, presence of family members. We can't really ask them to maintain silence. We have to make the best of what we can offer." He further explained that subjects which require lab facilities and demonstrations such as chemistry or biology may not be 100 per cent effective with online teaching. Bhagnani added that although the students have given a positive feedback for virtual classes, many miss having extra-curricular activities during the day. With the ease of conducting classes remotely, private tutors are finding app-based teaching more effective and time-efficient since the traveling time and cost is eliminated. Each teacher can coach 60-70 students simultaneously.

Online educational platforms like BYJU's believes that in spite of schools reopening in the coming months, e-learning platforms are here to stay and will continue to surge. BYJU's Chief Operating Officer, Mrinal Mohit said, "2020 has been a significant year for the edutech sector and has created widespread awareness for online learning amongst key stakeholders, including - teachers, parents and students."

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