Since the pandemic struck our lives, we have been desperately trying to adapt methods in hopes to continue forward. As many alternatives were explored and created, virtual learning is one such thing that has protected education from coming to a complete stop as the virus began to spread.
Online learning has been adopted throughout the world by all educational institutions. However, is it effective enough to carry the weight of education for children?
Many factors of virtual learning contribute for it to be effective. Likewise, some of its sides put up a question mark on its productivity.
Aside from the biggest factor that virtual learning allows students to study remotely, it also saves time as compared to the traditional school method. Schools take up a lot of time in assembling, back and forth from classrooms and lockers, and waiting for teachers to arrive. Virtual classes in that perspective save time and aim to solely study.
Virtual learning is very impactful especially for young students due to the multimedia and creative methods of teaching. These children have shorter attention spans and can easily get distracted in a classroom full of children like them. However, the classes with animation and creative methods of learning will be helpful for them.
Virtual learning has proven to be a very green option. When the smog covered the city, closing down physical classes was easily possible. The already implemented zoom classes and the minimal usage of busses minimized the harm contributing to the smog. This also shows that if in the future such emergencies of cases occur when physical classes may not take place, it will not harm the education of children.
Virtual learning also has a cheaper price than a school. the only cost to be paid to the school is tuition. However, this comes at a behavior price of nowhere to send you children and unemployment of many people who need it like the janitors of schools.
Virtual learning also has some effects upon its students that make it ineffective. Students, especially older ones go through mental pressures and disruptions. Loneliness, stress, and pressure are some that can have a direct impact on such student’s mental health. The students who are already weak in their studies go through a harder time catching up virtually. The physical classes allow a face to face interaction and problem-solving sessions which are just not the same on a small screen.
One of the biggest downsides of virtual learning is it is extremely easy to skip it. Students open a different tab while in class and start watching youtube or cheat during tests. This is a very big problem and does not allow students to learn. People join in from their mobile phones while out with their friends and the teacher will have no clue about it. This makes one question what is the point of online classes if the students are not learning?
Virtual Learning in Nepal
The scenario of virtual learning in Nepal is a more important and different topic. What are the effects of virtual learning in Nepal?
The above-mentioned pros and cons apply to virtual learning through zoom and google classrooms. However, in a developing nation like Nepal, access to technology is no less than a luxury.
About 80% of the population live in the rural area. There is simply no virtual learning for studies in the rural parts where a school itself was big news. The only methods of learning they have been through the radio classes and TV channel released by the government. These mediums of education are not very effective because there are not specific channels for grades. Only channels broadcasting a teacher’s lessons. Students have a hard time focusing and learn through radios and tv channels.
The second and only option for these children is social distancing classes. Physical classes in distance are the only way to continue effective learning for them. This again with the problem that the classrooms are very small and students many. So they might have to resort to outdoor classes.
Whereas talking about virtual classes, a study carried out by National Campaign for Education showed that virtual learning was ineffective for 64.3% of students that were surveyed. Slow internet and carelessness in teaching and learning alike can weaken the impact and reach of virtual learning. However, determined students and teachers can continue to teach and learn. It is a hard time for everyone, and although virtual and digital classes may not seem effective it is still better than no class!