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What Is So Wrong with Online Teaching?

A university teacher assesses what is wrong in visualising the online space as a place for regular education. In the context of the pandemic, the situation is even worse, not better, for the suitability of online teaching as a surrogate. It also has a particularly heinous effect for women, both female students and female family members. Given the grossly unequal burden of domestic work that women share at home, often the female students would have to take up additional domestic responsibilities during lockdown. In a different situation, enforced carving out of silence and privacy in the cramped domestic space may imply that the mother adjusts her own work-time and domestic schedule silently.

Ever since classes were suspended in the universities of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online teaching using various platforms like Zoom is the new buzzword. Initially, the directives that came from my university were both more vaguely and cautiously worded. Providing e-resources and staying available online during class timings was advised. Gradually, the discourse shifted, without any explicit directive, to online teaching using various platforms. The university and college admini­strators as well as many motivated teachers were all suddenly full of the Zoom experience, and, at last, it seemed as if a solution to this extraordinary standstill had been found. Though the Government of India’s cautionary against the use of Zoom seemed to be a spanner in the wheel of this new-found marvel, it did not dent the faith in this marvel at all—neither for the government nor the initiators—and it merely meant a shift from one platform to another, as if such threats to data privacy cannot be present on the other platforms.

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Updated On : 8th Jun, 2020

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