BENGALURU: “I dread another run of online classes,” rued Rose (name changed), a first-year student at a private college affiliated to Bengaluru City University. She is among many students who fear going back to the online mode after more than a year of it during the pandemic, as they do not feel they have acquired the competencies they expected.
Students from various colleges who spoke to TNIE were worried that examinations are round the corner and lecturers are quickly completing the practical classes expecting a restart of online classes. This comes in the backdrop of the Covid clusters mushrooming in educational institutes in Karnataka, and the global emergence of the Omicron variant.
For students like Sana (name changed), a second-year student, online classes have already started two months ago. “Ever since the first year students started classes in October, we have been asked to attend online classes. But exams are planned offline,” she said. “More than a year has gone waste due to online classes, and I could not exercise my leadership skills to the fullest potential,” added Sana, who is the class representative.
Psychologist Manika Ghosh, president, Bangalore Psychology Forum, agreed that online classes failed to tackle problems such as bullying, whereas in physical classes, schools have preventive mechanisms. “The online setup also impacted students’ holistic development, including relationship development,” she added. As a result, teachers need to deal with students in a more sensitive manner and teaching methodology has to change, she noted.
“It has been almost two years since but many teachers still aren’t orientated towards online classes. Many teachers are struggling with technology,” she said. The Karnataka Government College Teachers’ Association (KGCTA) president T M Manjunath agreed that no training was held for teachers. However, commissioner of Collegiate Education Department, Pradeep P, insisted that training was held online for teachers, and a learning management system had classes and PPTs for two semesters.