This has been bothering me for a while!
Ever since COVID-19 brought the world to an indefinite halt, almost all of us went remote. I love remote working! Right from the days when I had to wake up, hatch up some silly excuse to my manager, and explore the possibility of working from the comfort of my bed! I thoroughly enjoy working from my bed, with a cup of cacao by my side. But, this discourse is not about remote working rather Remote Studies.
I was lucky that I had to put up with online classes only for about a month or two before the completion of my master degree, but my heart goes out to every student around the world who crossed international boundaries to study in a new land. Explore the possibility of knowing people from different cultures, explore different food, languages, way of life, customs, legends, and stories. I thoroughly enjoyed exchanging stories with people back during the dormitory days in 2018-2019. But this unprecedented situation has left us all with not much of a choice. You can’t walk around in public places casually. Most public places are off-limits or have added restrictions. Classrooms have been reduced to Zoom calls and Microsoft Teams. There are people that I know who haven’t met their classmates or professors since they commenced their course. And it’s okay since we’re trying to cope up with the given unprecedented circumstance.
What’s bothering me is the scepticism about a possible loophole in Education System! Has COVID-19 finally exposed it? Well, I am not denying the positive and healthy impacts of classroom sessions, physical meetings, and human connection. But if the education system can manage with internet interactions, calls, remote doubt-clearing sessions, then why rip them off by pricing thousands of euros? They conduct classes online, you get all your study materials via email, have your grades on the university portal, and finally, you can cherish your diploma delivered to your address. Except for the degree part, you can avail every facility on online e-learning websites like Udemy, Coursera, W3 Schools, and TedEd. Even they accord you a certification that holds value and makes you a proficient person.
Not that these platforms didn’t exist before, YouTube has plenty of tutorial videos too, and there are millions of self-taught people who have made good use of such online learning platforms. But, hasn’t the current circumstance exposed the shady side of our education system which is mostly focussed on the money-making business. If you cite outdoor and curricular activities, I believe we have plenty of places around where we can train ourselves and make like-minded friends, but the price charged by schools/universities still doesn’t explain when people have equivalent/better options at fair low cost. This price mismatch (between universities & e-learning portals) is still not explained. And now, I believe that when the world can see things in black and white, people running those money-churning institutions might make some changes in their working ways.