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Impact of online classes on student community

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Online classes student community

Aina Bhat

Online education has gained immense popularity among working professionals and students pursuing higher education. These categories of online learners find immense benefit in the autonomy and flexibility that these courses offer. Online courses can be planned around their schedule which may include full-time employment, internships and caring for the family. Online learning can also help them take out some time to study.

Distance learning has been around for a long time, even before technology made it easily accessible. Traditional schooling is now seeing an increased proliferation of virtual training materials and online courses. Even in a world of tried and tested schooling systems and curricula, the most successful schools are the ones who adapt to the changing times, as well as to the expectations of students, parents and society.

Online courses call for a greater amount of motivation and self-discipline than a classroom-based course. A classroom has one or more instructors and peers, who can hold a student accountable for their coursework. In contrast, online courses involve setting our own goals, tracking progress and meeting deadlines. One does not learn effectively in isolation so online courses do offer discussion forums, email and one-on-one support. Technology also adds to the visual experience by incorporating animations that can be used interactively for effective learning and communication.

Classroom advantage on student community

A school provides structure, support, and a system of rewards and penalties to groom its students. Traditional classroom education offers the benefit of face-to-face interactions with peers which are typically moderated by a teacher. It provides children, especially those in their early developmental years, with a stable environment for social interactions, helping them develop skills like boundary setting, empathy and cooperation. It also allows plenty of room for spontaneity, unlike a virtual learning setup.

Online education impact on student community

Online learning can help the student community pursue highly individualized learning programmes, possibly even college-level courses. These, combined with hands-on exercises, real-world exploration, and thorough assessments, can be highly beneficial to their learning progress. They can explore their options by trying out introductory topics from different fields, before committing to a specialization. Online learning platforms can help these students become more independent learners before they make their way into college. I believe that we must not hold back students from pursuing an online course but instead provide them guidance as they navigate through it.

Mobile apps that provide enhanced learning opportunities for school children have become quite popular as of late. Since mobile phones have already found their way into their hands, these apps are being used to supplement classroom learning. Teachers and parents need to act as anchors and mentors, curating the kind of educational content students are exposed to, during this tricky phase of exploring the right career to pursue.

Online learning programmes will also open up opportunities for children from the weaker socio-economic communities who have limited access to learning resources i.e., teachers, textbooks and infrastructure. It will connect them to a global network of online learners, exposing them to new perspectives. The ideas that they receive will not be limited by the number of heads in one classroom.

Online education for student fraternity

Online training programmes are helping teachers/educators advance their skills in the curriculum implementation, policy, education systems and leadership, both independently and with the support of their institutions. It lets them collaborate with their peers and learn new instructional skills that are relevant to their career. These programmes can help them develop new skills and capabilities in their students with the help of technology and interdisciplinary approaches.

Learning online as effective model for Student fraternity

For those who do have access to the right technology, research shows that learning online can be more effective in a number of ways. On average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom, according to the research. “This is mostly due to the students being able to learn faster online; e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom setting because students can learn at their own pace, going back and re-reading, skipping, or accelerating through concepts as they choose,” it says.
The effectiveness of online learning varies amongst age groups. The consensus on children, especially younger ones, is that a structured environment is required because kids are more easily distracted. To get the full benefit of online learning, there needs to be a concerted effort to provide this structure and go beyond replicating a physical class/lecture through video capabilities, instead, using a range of collaboration tools and engagement methods that promote inclusion, personalization and intelligence.

Advantages of Online learning to the student fraternity

1. Efficiency

Online learning offers teachers an efficient way to deliver lessons to students. Online learning has a number of tools such as videos, PDFs, podcasts, and teachers can use all these tools as part of their lesson plans. By extending the lesson plan beyond traditional textbooks to include online resources, teachers can become more efficient educators.

2. Accessibility of Time And Place

Another advantage of online education is that it allows students to attend classes from any location of their choice. It also allows schools to reach out to a more extensive network of students, instead of being restricted by geographical boundaries. Additionally, online lectures can be recorded, archived, and shared for future reference. This allows students to access the learning material at a time of their comfort. Thus, online learning offers students the accessibility of time and place in education.

3. Affordability 

Another advantage of online learning is reduced financial costs. Online education is far more affordable as compared to physical learning. This is because online learning eliminates the cost points of student transportation, student meals, and most importantly, real estate. Additionally, all the course or study materials are available online, thus creating a paperless learning environment that is more affordable, while also being beneficial to the environment.

4. Improved Student Attendance  

Since online classes can be taken from home or location of choice, there are fewer chances of students missing out on lessons.

5. Suits a Variety of Learning Styles 

Every student has a different learning journey and a different learning style. Some students are visual learners, while some students prefer to learn through audio. Similarly, some students thrive in the classroom, and other students are solo learners who get distracted by large groups.

The online learning system, with its range of options and resources, can be personalized in many ways. It is the best way to create a perfect learning environment suited to the needs of each student.

The author is a PhD scholar at the College of Temperate Sericulture, SKUAST-Kashmir

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Education

GNK hosts JAI scholarship distribution function

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GNK hosts JAI scholarship

Scholarships worth Rs 1 cr distributed among 550 meritorious students, sports achievers

 Yamunanagar (Haryana): Guru Nanak Khalsa College Yamunanagar hosted the Jamna Auto Industries Scholarship Distribution Function, a significant event aimed at recognizing and rewarding deserving meritorious students and sports achievers from the GNK Group of Institutions.

The institutions under the GNK Group umbrella include Guru Nanak Khalsa College Yamunanagar, GGS College of Pharmacy, GNK Institute of Technology and Management, and School of Employability.

A total scholarship amount of Rs 1 crore was distributed among 550 students, reaffirming the institution’s commitment to nurturing academic excellence and sporting talent. The event was graced by dignitaries, including Major Rajinder Singh Bhatti, Vice President of the Guru Nanak Khalsa College Committee; Dr Peer GN Suhail, Group COO of GNK Group of Institutions; and Sanyam Maratha, Group CSR Head of Jamna Auto Industries.

The ceremony commenced with a tree plantation ceremony, symbolizing growth and sustainability, followed by the traditional lighting of the lamp. Dr. Harinder Singh Kang, Principal of Guru Nanak Khalsa College Yamunanagar, expressed gratitude for the generous scholarships sponsored by JAI as part of their CSR initiative. Sanyam Maratha, Head of JAI CSR, shared insights into the organization’s commitment to supporting education and empowering deserving students.

Dr Peer GN Suhail presented and released the Annual Report of GNKGI during the event, highlighting the academic achievements and milestones of the institutions. The function culminated with an inspiring address by the Chief Guest, accompanied by a formal vote of thanks delivered by Dr Kumar Gaurave, Principal of GGS College of Pharmacy.

GNK hosts JAI scholarship

The event was graced by the presence and support of eminent personalities including Dr Kumar Gaurave, Dr Amit Joshi (Director GNK Institute of Technology and Management), Dr Kamalpreet Kaur (Vice Principal of Guru Nanak Khalsa College Yamunanagar), and Prof Santosh Kurra (Coordinator Incharge) alongside other esteemed staff members.

Sardar Randeep Singh Jauhar, President of the Governing Body and Managing Committee of Guru Nanak Khalsa Group of Institutions, extended heartfelt congratulations to the scholarship recipients, emphasizing the institution’s unwavering commitment to fostering excellence in education and holistic development.

The JAI Scholarship Distribution Function served as a testament to the collective efforts of institutions and organizations towards empowering deserving students and nurturing a brighter future for the community.

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Education

NIRF-2023 ranking: SKUAST-K 9th best agri institute in country

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SKUAST-K 9th best agri institute

BK News

Srinagar, June 5: Further enhancing its rising graph of accomplishments, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir has secured ninth best agriculture institute rank in the country assessed under the National Institutional Ranking Framework-2023 of Union Ministry of Education.

The ranking and results of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)-2023 were announced by the Minister of State for Education and External Affairs, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh in New Delhi on Monday.

In the category of ‘Agriculture and Allied Sectors, SKUAST-K is the fourth state agricultural university (SAU) which has figured among the top 10 farm institutions of the country along with IARI, NDRI, IVRI, and CIFE with a total score of 59.50. This recognition has further solidified the university’s upward trajectory of success placing it in the league of elite agricultural institutions of the country.

The NIRF ranking is the third successive national-level achievement of the SKUAST-K after being declared the country’s 6th best state agricultural university by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and categorised as the ‘Band Excellent’ under Atal Innovation Ranking last year.

SKUAST-K 9th best agri instituteVice Chancellor, SKUAST-K, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, complimented the faculty, students, and non-teaching staff of the university for the tireless efforts they are making in achieving the highest standards in research, innovation and education, the reason for getting the top rank. Calling it the result of teamwork, he said, “This is the beginning of the new era and we aim to be among the top five agri-institutions of the country.”

SKUAST-K has taken a lead role in evolving a working model of NEP-2020 as well as projecting itself as a potential destination for higher education.  The improved ranking is a result of the improvement of academic standards and achievements of faculty and students at national and international levels.

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Classrooms brim with learning anew

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Classrooms brim with learning

CRY-RILM project unites kids with books

BK News

Inayat Parvaiz was a decent student in school, till the pandemic struck. His father, the only earning member in the five-member family, lost his job and was struggling to make ends meet. The young boy was forced to join his brother at a sand digging/extraction site near his village, Baniyaree Sharkie, in the Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Inayat is among the millions of children across the country going through a huge learning lag, all because of the prolonged closure of schools during the pandemic. CRY and Rotary India Literacy Mission (RILM) carried out a study based on responses of 4000 children, in the age group of 7-14,  from 4 states in the country – Jharkhand, West Bengal, Manipur and Jammu & Kashmir – to assess the quantum of loss, and also started a slew of remedial centres to assist the children make up for the lag. There are 39 such centres across the four states.

The CRY-RILM-Jammu Kashmir Association of Social Workers (JKASW) team identified Inayat as “out of school” and visited his father. They realized that the boy was willing to pursue his studies but could not do so, because of compulsions in his family. Although reluctant at first, his parents decided to let him attend the local Asha Kiran Centre in a flexible manner. He started attending classes and also started participating in various other activities. After his initial assessment, he was enrolled in Level 2 at the Asha Kiran Centre.  But regular attendance and diligent efforts meant that the boy made an appreciable improvement. After his final assessment, he was mainstreamed into Class 6 at Govt. Middle school, Gund Prang. He attends school regularly and makes it a point to attend remedial classes at the Asha Kiran Centre to compensate for his deficiencies.

Classrooms brim with learning Classrooms brim with learning anew, the CRY-RILM project unites kids with books!

There are nine Asha Kiran Centres in three panchayat blocks of Bandipora district. Of the 565 children who joined these centres, around 16.81 per cent had dropped out of school because of the pandemic and related reasons and 64.8 per cent were found to be officially enrolled in school, but without age-appropriate learning levels. Around 44.1 per cent of the kids were found to be “poor” (learning levels at least two years behind their age-appropriate class) in basic reading skills and 45.1 per cent in basic calculations.

The stark ground reality in J&K mirrors the findings across the three other states in the country. Around 3.9 per cent of the 4000 children had been found to have dropped out because of the pandemic-induced school closure and more than 75 per cent of the children were found to be “poor” in basic reading skills and calculations.

CRY (North) Regional Director Soha Moitra is hopeful that change will happen, step by step. “The learning loss has been unparalleled, the exact ramifications of which will take longer to fathom and make up. In this post-COVID world, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing the educational needs of children from underserved communities. Every community, every child and every context is unique. It is important to adopt and embrace contextually relevant and inclusive approaches that take into consideration the diverse needs and aspirations of children,” Moitra said.

Over the past eight months, the teachers at the Asha Kiran Centres in J&K have managed to bring back the children into some sort of a study environment, with regular classes, innovative Teaching-Learning Methods, extra-curricular activities and more. Students like Inayat, Tawfeeq Ahmed and several others have benefitted enormously from these classes and are showing appreciable improvement in the periodical assessments.

“The post-COVID learning assessment of 4,000 children across 4 states in the country, by CRY and Rotary India Literacy Mission, presents evidence on the severity of the learning losses incurred during school closures, and also charts out a path of recovery, phase by phase. It’s a journey full of lessons and experiences and a sustained campaign that has impacted not only the kids, but also the teachers, volunteers, parents and extended community.  Kudos to the ‘change-makers’ who are making it happen,” said Kamal Sanghvi, Chairman, Rotary India Literacy Mission.

Classrooms brim with learning

Apart from the classes, the project team has held community meetings with teachers of local schools, local panchayat members and parents, all to create a comfortable space that will help the children overcome their learning gaps and get back into mainstream education.

Tawfeeq’s father Javed Ahmed was initially reluctant to send his son to the Asha Kiran Centre. But he is happy that he had finally paid heed to the advice of the project team members who had visited him.  A few months on, the proud father says:  “Asha Kiran Centre me mera beta bahot kuch sikh raha hai. Use yahan aana achha lagta hai (My son is learning a lot at the Asha Kiran Centre. He loves to come here).

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