Wednesday Aug 17, 2022
Wednesday Aug 17, 2022

From Online Classes to Physical Exams

How are Nepali students coping with the new change: online classes?

2022 Feb 01, 15:31,

It has been almost two complete years since the first effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were seen on schools and students. Schools were one of the first institutions to close immediately in their cause to prevent the spread of the virus. However, pandemic or not, life goes on, and so it was inevitable that online classes would be the way to go.

“We were excited at first,” says Ayushma Chhatkuli, a tenth grader at St. Xavier’s, Jawalakhel, “For us it felt like we were getting an elongated holiday, even though we had to study each day.”

Not having to wake up early in the morning, change into their uniforms in the cold, rush to their bus stops – it does seem a simpler and indeed easier form of schooling for children. However, presently, the tone seems to have changed.

“Things have become boring and monotonous,” she says, and it does not look like she is alone in this. Bibhas Pantha, a classmate of Chhatkuli’s, laments about the same, citing that online classes are just a “regular part of [their] lives now.”

The past two years have been about more than just online classes for students; being confined to their homes, or perhaps even rooms, has definitely not helped them.

“Ages 14 to 16 are the peak years of our teenage life,” Pantha continues, “This was our time to make new friends and gain new experiences. And the fact that we were restricted from even stepping outside our homes made matters even more frustrating.”

Simrika Basnet, also a student, says, “The lack of social interactions definitely chipped at our confidence. When the school was reopened for a short time, it was almost like a new experience for us.”

The pandemic has already wreaked havoc on many teenagers’ lives. Disruption to normal life routines, less personal space, and mental stress from keeping up with the latest news have been common for most.

Students have been through a lot to say the least. And with a new system of schooling thrust upon them, there is little to none that they can relate with the people around them, mostly family members. Before the pandemic, students had parents, teachers, and even siblings with whom they could at least relate and talk about their days.

Furthermore, for students of grades 10 and 12, who take their final exams at the national level, it is vexing having to follow the news and updates about their exams. One of their concerns is the examinations being called off or postponed indefinitely at the last hour. Similarly, the students are dismayed at the fact that the examinations would be held physically, despite having taken classes online for the most part.

Another student says, “Just like online and physical classes differ from each other, online and physical exams also differ greatly. During online exams, we are only required to give concise and short answers; physical exams, on the other hand, focus more on the knowledge and understanding and test your time management skills. Having classes in one medium and exams in another is unfair and wrong on the students.”

 The future of the pandemic and indeed schooling in general is uncertain for all. And it must be taken into account that the shift from physical to online classes is still new to students and teachers alike. It is unrealistic to expect this new system to flourish so soon. Also, the online medium is not a failure; it certainly has had its fair share of advantages. Students got to spend some much needed time with their family members, and were introduced to new study materials and also had the liberty to go at a pace they wished to.

The way to move forward in the future is something that students and institutions must start planning for. Perhaps the best way would be by having a hybrid of the two classes - starting with physical classes at first and slowly dividing them into the physical and online mediums until there would be an equal schedule for the two. This would enable students to get accustomed to both systems and give them an easier experience.


online classes Teenagers students pandemic covid-19
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