All publications of Harkirat Singh . लुधियाना , भारत
DISTANCE LEARNING: BOON OR BANE ?
“THE SECRET OF CHANGE IS TO FOCUS ALL OF YOUR ENERGY NOT ON FIGHTING THE OLD, BUT ON BUILDING THE NEW.” ~SOCRATES
CHANGES are very significant aspect in our lives. Changes are the ones which help us to build our mental, moral and physical character. This aspect was also beautifully communicated by the famous Byzantine Emperor Heraclitus that change is the only constant in life. But few of these are made by us and rest initiated by the nature i.e. the Lord’s will.
In the same manner, COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected and has brought remarkable changes in the lives of human beings. The pandemic has resulted into closure of educational institutions all over the globe leading 1.2 billion students forced to stay at their homes. Nearly 5 months have passed now and there is no certainty now that when the schools and colleges will reopen. Board examinations, entrance test for numerous colleges and universities, nursery school admissions have been adversely affected by the pandemic resulting to either cancellation or postpone of these exams. As a result, this scenario has brought about a change in the education set up because education is not a commodity that could be missed out.
Observing that, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the casual routine of the mankind, worldwide, the online platform has resulted into best alternative possible for undertaking many virtuous deeds. It has also made us comprehend that these tasks can be fulfilled while sitting at homes whenever needed. Altogether, it has been the commence of a new period, which the present generation has witnessed.
It’s emergence has also somehow changed the mindset of the humanity. Earlier the parents used to instruct their children that not waste their precious time on watching the electronic gadgets and should rather focus on their studies. But now since the criteria has changed then they become completely dependent on the studies through the digital platform. Moreover, presently the situation has become more critical. It has put the students in such circumstances that it is upon them whether they have to utilize in a fruitful manner or they just have to waste time and resources on other commodities where the guidance of the parents will play crucial role. Moreover, the parents are required to make clearance between the online and offline tasks of their children and should also assist them in channelizing this time in a good manner.
To understand the availability of facilities for the online education, we need to analyze the whole structure of education system of our nation broadly. According to a report by central secular foundation, there are as many as 4,00,000 private schools in our country wherein nearly 7.9 crore students study from which nearly 65.2% students still study in government schools. A report by ‘Bloomberg’ states that every year 2.8% children leave the school because of certain problems. Indian news agency, India Today’s report also states that 71% students have the facility of a phone who reside in the cities whereas in the rural areas the situation worsens as only 55% of parents possess the smartphones. Possession of all these facilities becomes the basis of online education from which the less privileged ones especially the ones studying in the government schools or living in the rural areas are lagging behind.
This framework has been made very swiftly, in order to prevent the wastage of studies in this long time span. This alternative was chosen because the resources involved in it’s fulfillment were portable and were present with most of the population. Online Education is conducted in two ways - either through various video-conferencing platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, Skype or the lectures are recorded and then telecasted on television and youtube.
But, students along with their parents and the teachers have their own struggles while accessing through these platforms. By providing the difficulties and acknowledging that, every small incident that happens in our lives has it’s own hidden lesson for the people along with it’s advantages and disadvantages.
On one side, It has enabled us to stay at our homes with our parents and grandparents which has helped us to inhabit moral values and life lessons from them. The students can also endeavor co-curriculum activities depending upon their interest by also keeping in mind their career. It has also increased the level of flexibility in the studies wherein listening to recorded and live conversations also help the students to study and work at their own pace and has also guided the students to attend their classes in the comfort of their homes. Moreover, it has made us learn different online tools and its numerous methods. He paramount of all, we are able to abide by the precautions and the guidelines which have been specified.
The current scenario has also realized some students’ dreams who thought attending school at home as a nightmare . They previously also thought that as a student they won’t be able to stay at home for such long time nor could they attend their classes in the comfort of their homes. But on the other side, this phase in our lives also teaches the consequence of school’s environment in which we inherit many virtuous values and the presence of our teachers who play the role as a mentor in our lives and paramount being the companionship of our fellow mates. This vital lessening can’t be fulfilled by e-learning at that extent.
On the other side, this system gives more focus on the studies rather than physical activities which affects the growth of a child. Also, there is lack of free flowing conversations, debates and discussions with the teachers and fellow students as a result which limitates the feedback from the students.
The main difficulty in this span of time is the network problem which may occur anytime during the classes. This problems happens due to bad weather or due to bad connectivity in a particular area which leads to lagging behind in studies. This period is emerging to be a huge distress for the less privileged ones as this framework requires a lot of expensive gadgets just for the sake of getting education these days.
Online education also has its effects on the health of the children. This can lead to numerous problems like affect on eyesight and growth while some may have stress depression.
In this span of time, where accessing your work from online and work from home is trending , there have been a tremendous rise in the cyber crime. So as to curb this menace, the government needs to provide a safeguard against all these by building a strong cyber security department in order to keep a check on all the invalid activities. While, the public needs to be very attentive and should become protective for its own possessions and privacy.
Nowadays, it is a strenuous toil for fulfilling the responsibility of a teacher. As earlier, the scene was that they had to go to school, teach and come back which was rather a smooth procedure. But now they are supposed to manage both family and school at the same time. So that’s very hard to manage. As a result, from a student’s perspective, we should respect and obey them sincerely. We should also not undertake any activity by which they are disheartened. Collectively, we should do our best and must cooperate with them during the online classes.
As a solution to this complication collective efforts are needed at both the local and at the center level.
The Government’s role in the midst of this scenario could emerge as that of a savior for the students as well as for the teachers by lessening their burdens. As it’s foremost purpose is to work for the welfare of the public, thus, they should come up with strategies that may grant solace.
The government is required to fix the time tables for the online teaching wherein the students will get less stress on their eyes and brain due to less screen time b which the teachers are also able to give ample time to their families as well as the school. The government needs to collaborate with the respective companies in order to provide the less privileged ones with the gadgets along with the interne packs which will in turn help them to carry on their studies smoothly. As seen in severe cases, that there is only one mobile phone among the parents and they have to go on their jobs so, online learning is not possible in such conditions. Moreover, the citizens and the NGO’s should also come up for contributing their bit in this virtual deed.
Reducing of the portion is also mandatory, by keeping in mind that the chapters which tell about the basics of every subject not be deducted. The people must be aware that by lessening topics like democracy, secularism, etc. the government doesn’t leads to dictatorship. They should also not reopen the schools until the complete elimination of the virus and if done it would become very difficult to control its spread because mostly students possess weak immunity. Moreover, they should learn from other countries where they had reopened the schools and are suffering a lot.
This situation has also shown the mismanagement of the powers by the previous governments, that they have not much heed to this issue. As the expenditure spent on education system of the nation is very less. Also, they haven’t thought of any alternative for such extreme situations. Because of all this, it was obvious to face difficulties while accessing to this infant education system. But it is very necessary to increase the expenditure on education to build a strong education structure as it nourishes the future of the nation.
Here, the school’s authority’s duty also comes into action. They are required to come up with such innovative methods of teaching with the help of the digital world so as to increase the curiosity of students towards various subjects. It will also help them to understand more of the practical aspect rather than cramming the theory without understanding it. They are also required to conduct co-curriculum classes wherein they should discuss about today’s scenario, their normal routine these days, and about how can they utilize the free time. They should also do counseling of such students who feel depressed in today’s time span.
By keeping all the viewpoints in mind, E-learning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is the best alternative possible as studies are very indispensible for the upliftment in the student’s life. Somehow, it makes us understand that this atmosphere can’t replace the original school learning. However, online education has some advantages and disadvantages too, so we should analyze it as a point of totality. Moreover, the government along with the school administration must not deprive off the less privilege ones and should focus on methods by which they are able to steadily catch up with their studies and also does not lag behind in it.
Moreover, online-learning has caused drastic changes in fields of education affecting both teachers and students. After COVID-19, its rise could replace the old tradition of studying like the up surge of the e-commerce took place succeeding SARS. While now it may be too early to predict but as of now after seeing the scenario nowadays, it appears to be a kind of system which supports only one part of the community.
By: Harkirat Singh
School: Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana, Punjab.-141001
Address: #63A Palam Vihar, Pakhowal Road, Ludhiana, Punjab.-142022
WILLINGNESS TO LIVE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MEDICATION
- Harkirat Singh
In many instances, the eager to live more has been proved to be fortunate rather than the medication . This happens where one person when seen from a scientific point of view seems to severely ill, and their the internal will of a person and the paramount of all 'prayers' play a very significant role. The internal will of a person comes with one's attachment with the worldly things and the relationship which also results to be the saviour in such situation where a person by the grace of the almighty is to conquer all odds like depression and illness and become victorious. A beautiful example of such situation has been nicely illustrated in the chapter 'THE LAST LEAF' wherein Jhonsy suffered from pneumonia because of the very cold weather. Resulting her severe illness she also underwent depression which made her more weaken. By lying on her bed, she kept on seeing out of her room's window, where the tree was continuously shedding leaves because of the autumn season to which he correlated with her death. She perceived that when last leaf would fell, she too would die. But because of extraordinary efforts put collectively by Sue and Mr.Behrman, Jhonsy was recovered very quickly as Mr.Behrman made a masterpiece of the leaf which was exact replica of the Last Leaf left as a result it boosted enthusiasm in Jhonsy by which she was finally saved.
GLARING DESPARITIES IN
Disparities (which means a great difference) among the lives of human beings has been prevailing since the olden days but gradually as time passed, the gap between the rich and poor has exceptionally increased. This happens due to our past deeds that we are born in a family either rich or poor, under the mighty superindence of the god. However, in order to restraint this peril, there are certain steps which are needed to be enforced at various levels in our society. Firstly, the govt. should take strict actions in order to reduce the population for the future generations as this is a prominent factor because of which we are now lacking of resources. Moreover, the administration with the collaboration of NGO's needs to take steps which may fulfill their basic needs that includes food and education by lowering the prices for them which will also help in their upliftment. Secondly, as a citizen point of view, we should not let them feel emotionally that they are less privileged. We should also help the needy ones as much as we can by contributing our part for the welfare of the humanity, rather wasting a large sum of money on birthday parties, weddings, etc. It is also on the individuals to take immense advantage from the facilities that they are provided with to make their and their parents lives a splendid one to relish.
Will reopeningof educational institutions will lead to a massive surge in Covid-19 cases?
Opening of schools in this strenuous period from which we are passing would be the worst by the government. It would be like playing with the fire and harming the future of our nation. Unquestionably reopening of educational institutions will surely lead to a enormous increase in the Covid-19 cases. Even as, now the students will be very eager to interact with their fellow mates because of the long duration of the unexpected vacations. In this situation, implementation of strict rules among the students in huge numbers inside the campus would be a tough task for the school administration. Moreover, whether one student sequels to Covid-19 positive ,whole school/college's students along with the teaching staff will be encouraged as this disease is contagious before symptoms appear and also spreads very quickly within a group of people. At home ,we can take several precautions but how we'll be ensured that the same would be carried out there. There would be fear during lunch breaks , also inside the classroom s and school buses. As a symbol of significant suggestion from myside, the current academic session should be conducted through the e-Learning plateform.
~Harkirat Singh Shankar
Student of standard IX
Sacred heart convent school ,
Sarabha Nagar Ludhiana.
AN AURA OF INVISIBLE FOE
We must accept finite disappointment, but never loose infinite hope. ~ MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
Never in the chronicle of public health, a pandemic of a disease threatened the humanity as COVID-19 has threatened, research based name of a newly identified ‘corona virus’ has inflicted. Novel corona virus or COVID-19 is caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus-2 (SARS-COV-2) which was firstly identified at Wuhan, China in December, 2019. WHO has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and public health emergency on 30 January, 2020. The spread of corona epidemic is unprecedented and has reached 199 countries across the globe. As per June 7, the global death toll surpassed 393 K & more than 6.6 million cases. Over 3.4 million people have recovered from the disease worldwide. Whereas, in India death toll surpassed 6.9 K & more than 247 K cases in which 119 K have been recovered. With this India now stands on No. 5 on list of badly hit countries by COVID-19.
Common signs of infection include fever, coughing & breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can cause phenomia, multiple organ failure and even death. The incubation period of corona virus is estimated to be between 1 to 14 days. It is contagious before symptoms appear, which is why so many people get infected. Infected patients can be also asymptomatic, meaning that they do not have symptoms still they are tested positive for corona virus. Pandemic has spread with a high pace across the globe within a short span of time.
Other viruses such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) both belong to the family of corona virus but comparatively they are more fatal than COVID-19 but less infectious. More than 5 viruses have been spread widely across the globe in 20 years that have originated from China which include SARS, avian flu, swine flu and now COVID-19. It is believed that the virus has been originated from Wuhan’s Institute of Virology in course of their study on bats. But the China’s administration has been rejecting these reports.
COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the way of living life in humans. It has also brought a type of revolution in our lives. It has also influenced the educational systems worldwide, leading to total closures of school, universities and colleges. But it has also introduced the new method of e-learning. Besides this period has instigated us to the new significant term i.e. ‘Social Distancing’. Initially, when we saw a person wearing a mask, we might think that he/she is suffering from severe disease but now entire population of the world have been adapted to wear masks. Also, now the usage and importance of sanitizer has extremely increased.
It has also badly affected the economy of powerful countries like Germany, Japan, UK, USA & India. Many economists also predict that Indian Economy may how take too long to revive.
But to treat this ongoing third degree face of life, we should visualize this period as a lesson for the betterment of our future life.
Don’t take anything for granted : Before this widespread of COVID-19, in course of normal school days we were told comprehensive information about corona virus by our science teacher when it just started to spread widely among China. But at that juncture, I did’nt perceive that it might affect our lives in a catastrophic manner. And took that significant matter for granted. Moreover, now when we sit and remind, it teaches us that we should acknowledge each and every lesson which is taught to us.
Communicating more with parents and grand parents : Due to the advancement of technology, people including the parents and their children have started being engaged in their gadgets that they in their normal routine do not get much time for ineteractionxtraction which has resulted in lack of moral values in the youth. Now, that we have got time we should make best use of it by interacting more with our parents, grandparents which help us to inculcate moral values and we’ll also be able to learn life lessons from their vital experience.
More ratio of cases in cities in contrast to villages : As noticed, cases of COVID-19 are massive in the urban areas and metropolitian cities as compared to the rural areas. Here, technological advancement has played its rule, because of more pollution citizens are prone to have damaged lungs. Whereas in the villages the have pure environment. Since, COVID-19 is the disease which is concerned with the respiratory organ, i.e. lungs, then as a result the living in the cities are more endangered to get effected from corona virus.
Another lesson to ponder upon is that this period teaches us the value of immune system. So, we should consume nutritious food instead of junk food and also we should undertake our own work ourselves. For e.g.: cases of COVID-19 have great difference to that of cities and villages, as most of people residing in villages consume balanced diet which is organic and also work hard in fields. That is the reason they have more immunity resulting into less corona virus patients from that region.
Substandard Practises : Subsequently, human started to have immense interest in weapons and deadly commodities which has resulted into bad practices in the personage such as terrorism, explosive devices’ impact, producing artificial viruses, etc. Now a days, these things have threatened our lives and have cause huge damage and loss. So, implementation of these should be decreased and should be utilized only when they’re required.
Dependent upon one country : In course of development, many countries have become dependent on China. Many Global brands have established their manufacturing units in China. A lot of items are world widely exported from China, which includes clothes, toys, electrical appliances, machinery, furniture, etc. Due to this establishment of various global brands in China, they have been successful in strengthen their economy. But at times, they have opted wrong measures in order to make more profit. Likewise, India purchased 6.5 lakh rapid testing kits for corona virus from China from which most of them have resulted to be faulty. Also, but after the pandemic, China’s exporting products may suffer a llot.
Wedding Costs : Due to vast awareness in the society, we’ll be supposed to practice social distancing for coming years to come. As a result, this will lead to less expenditure on wedding parties, which also reduce load from the parents as a result, will not organise parties that in the past had been costing lakhs of rupees.
Population Explosion : This is one of the most significant factor because of which we are now lacking of resources. Most important being the testing of COVID-19. Earlier, if things were brought to notice by government and strict actions were taken before only we won’t have been faced this domain. After the COVID-19 pandemic, strict actions should be taken for reducing the population of the country by the government for the future generations like other countries have taken.
Encouraging Health Expenditure : One more factor to ponder upon is that encouraging expenditure on health by the government. According to data, government spends Rs. 60.72 lakh crores on health and it covers only 1.6 percent of the GDP. That’s so less ! Government needs to sexpend more on healthcare as now these are elements which will offer defence against the pandemic.
Conspiracy : Interestingly, COVID-19 pandemic has not effected at that extent other cities of China such as Shangai which is considered as the important economic center of their country and Beiging which is the capital of their country. The thing that fascinates the most is that cities like Shangai which is 839 KM away from Wuhan have reported cases in hundreds in which only few people died. But on the other side there are cities in the world which are suffering from COVID-19 in a treacherous manner. Like this, New York which is 12,000 KM away from Wohan has reported more than 374K cases in which nearly 25,000 people have lost their lives. It has also played its role as ‘Silent War’ planned cunningly by China. By acknowledging this statisics statics, we realize that COVID-19 has turned out to be a ‘conspiracy’ by China against the world to become dominantominion among all of them.
Benefits : By admitting that every incident that happens in our lives has its hidden lesson for us along with its advantages and disadvantages. In the same manner, COVID-19 pandemic has its beneficial outcomes to be joyful at. Earlier, many people were fond of junk food, so now they have been cooking nutritious food at their home which is akey point leading to their good health. Another factor is the replenishment of nature took place due to less human activities in the lockdown has also benefited us. Rivers and local water bodies which were earlier ill treated by the industries, are now they're clean at that extent that they are fit human consumption. Visibility of Himalayas from distant places has been only possible due to less pollution. We should try our best to maintain this level of beauty of nature and also not damage it by stopping tampering with the creation.
Being a student, we should feel our responsibility to work hard and study as much as possible. During this period, we should also focus on the physical games that gives us refreshment after studies. We should not waste our precious time in playing mobile games that may cause severe health problems in the longer term of our live else can also utilize it in helping our parents in the household activities which will reduce their load.
COVID-19 is a new disease that has caused great impacts to the people’s daily life extra ordinary. We, as a community of shared future for mankind, need to take collectively and quickly strong emergency responses as a battle against our common enemy, the new corona virus. Also, man should realize that by technological advancement he has started destroying nature which has led to environmental degradation. He should perceive the significance of nature and start conserving it. Only by this, his existence could be rescued. But as of now, circumstances have turned worst, that its continued survival on the earth is endangered. Straightway, we will have to follow the guidelines given to us by the government. Adapt a new way of life by maintaining social distancing, applying face masks. Whenever we have to go outside our homes and also by making use of sanitizer at regular intervals of time, till the vaccine of COVID-19 is made. But if the scientists are successful in manufacturing of ‘COVID-19 Vaccine’, it will be a huge achievement for them and courtesy on the entire world. As it is a strenuous effort to make an anti-viral rather than anti-bacterial vaccine. And most important being, not following and forwarding fake news regarding COVID-19. At last, I would like to convey that by the Almighty’s grace’ Hard times will end finally, and we will meet each other in the upcoming blooming time soon.
By : HARKIRAT SINGH
Class : IX
School: Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana-141001
Address: # 63 A, Palam Vihar, Pakhowal Road, Ludhiana-142022