Impact of COVID-19 on an Educational Institution of India: Perceptions of Teachers Towards Online Classes

Impact of COVID-19 on an Educational Institution of India: Perceptions of Teachers Towards Online Classes

Elizabeth Madathilathu Samuel (Royal University for Women, Bahrain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6948-1.ch019
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The year 2020 has made a mark in the history of mankind. India, too, was affected by the pandemic. To ensure a curb on the spread of the disease, India adopted a sequence emergency mechanism. It announced the closure of all educational institutions along with all the other establishments as a part of strict social distancing measures. The traditional mode of teaching and learning transitioned into online teaching. Online learning and virtual classrooms became the 'new normal'. The analysis was carried out using the data collected through structured questionnaire from 35 teachers in Kottayam District, Kerala a southern state of India. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics. It is evident from the study that the teachers lack in the use of various teaching methods for motivating and encouraging students. Further on, since the teachers were caught off guard, they had not received any formal or professional training to conduct online classes or use the advanced modes of technology.
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1. Introduction

Every big and small sector of the world is affected by the widespread of COVID 19 and India too is not spared of its effects. The whole country is still reeling under the after effects of this pandemic. It is estimated that the impact of COVID 19 on the Indian economy during 2020 may reach early 8 trillion Indian rupees (Keelery, 2020) and the Indian quarterly GDP was estimated to a decline of over 7% in the second quarter of financial year 2021. Almost all the sectors are affected due to this pandemic. In India, the primary influenced instance of Covid-19 was distinguished on 30 January 2020 in the province of Kerala and the influenced had a travel history from Wuhan, China (Wikipedia). In India, the first COVID death was announced on March 12, 2020 and the country witnessed a Janta Curfew for a one day, on March 22, 2020. India was a witness to yet another 14 hours Janta Curfew on March 24 to minimize the spread of Corona virus pandemic and evaluate the nation's capacity to battle the infection. At that point, the first period of lockdown was declared by the Prime Minister of India on March 25, 2020 for 21 days. Based on a close monitoring of the situation, the Indian Government broadened the lockdown period in various stages. The lockdown 5.0 was announced on April 30, a robust measure to ensure social distancing across the nation with an aim to combat the disease. Through the different phases of lockdown ranging from 'lockdown 1.0 to lockdown 5.0', it was the educational sector that was caught unaware. The switch from regular structure to online mode was abrupt and without any prior groundwork. Thus, the pandemic Covid-19 had a significant impact on the education sector. According to (UNESCO, 2020) around 320 million children are affected in India alone. As indicated by a study report of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, led on advanced education it was seen that there are 993 universities, 39931 Colleges and 10725 independent organizations recorded on their portal (Kumar, 2020).

As a solution to impose social distancing, the government of India has announced the closure of educational institutions. On March 21, 2020, the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) shared various free digital e learning platforms for continuing learning. For secondary education, they came up with Diksha portal, e pathshala, National Repository of open Educational resources (NROER). Diksha portal and e-pathshala are e-learning apps by NCERT for classes 1 to 12 in multiple languages (English, Hindi and Urudu). NROER portal provides resources for students and teachers in multiple languages as well as books and videos including a host of STEM based games. For Higher education, Swayam which is a national online education platform for undergraduate and postgraduate students in all Majors including engineering, humanities and management courses.

While e-PG Pathshala is concentrated on various postgraduate courses, Swayam Prabha has 32 DTH TV channels transmitting educational programs catering to the wide range of courses in higher education, which is resourceful for students. The students can access e-books, online courses and study materials.

Apart from these apps other online arrangements like Zoom, Google classroom, Google meet MS team etc. are available to students so that they may capitalize on it and continue their learning during this pandemic situation.

Since many years the Indian educational system had been thinking of adopting online studies in their curriculum. The pandemic created an emergency situation wherein the online platform got embraced and the prevailing situation has accelerated adoption of digital technology. This helped everyone to improve their professional skills. According to (Pravat, 2020) online learning is the best solution and it is a fact that technology based education is more transparent with all respect. Due to COVID 19 the shift has happened from the traditional sage on stage learning methodology to educational technology model where teachers and students were exposed to new innovative educational methodologies. It is further noticeable that many of the educational institution of India are technology enabled institutions; therefore it was easy for-these institutions to adapt technology.

Even though majority of Indian educational institution are equipped with technology, online teaching is relatively a new concept. Due to the outbreak of COVID 19, it became mandatory for the teachers to use online platform, for delivering courses and hence they started to conduct various assessments through online mode. Teachers face many new challenges like lack of technical infrastructure; technical support and many institutions use open source platforms, which raise questions on the quality and confidentiality of assessments.

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