The Covid-19 pandemic impacted almost all the sectors in the society and education sector is no exception. Education is very crucial for the betterment of our future. For every person in their lifetime, the period after 12th class exams is a very special time. That is the time where they set their root way to their goal. In the 5months break, some students enjoy the whole time with vacations, and some students enjoy by preparing for entrance examinations to get admission in some prestigious institutions. This essay will deal with how pandemic impacted the 12th pass out students in India. This essay discusses how Covid - 19 pandemic affected students` ability to study, psychological impact, various views about online classes during the lockdown, and the impact of being alone in the home on students` minds.
The covid-19 pandemic affected the student`s ability to learn the subject matter. In the survey I connected, most of the students 5 out of 7 expressed their opinion that pandemic affected their studies negatively. Most students said they had habituated watching shows in OTTs for much time and waking up too late, which had less work for their brains to think. Now online classes started their respective universities. Most of them said that they feel hard to concentrate and think about the subject matter and watched online classes that they got distracted and watched online shows. Only two of seven students said they benefited from being home because of the pandemic by learning new things. The interviewee named Prasanth said that he learned about India`s democratic setup and updated current affairs with utmost freedom from academic assignments and exams in the lockdown time. During the lockdown, I became soo lazy, and not maintained my timetable properly to prepare for CLAT exam. However, the pandemic affected negatively on student’s ability to learn.
As the pandemic affected students` ability to learn and learn new things, it also affected students` mental health. All the students I interacted with, expressed their experience, as, how they struggled mentally, during the pandemic. Most of the students said that some exams of their 12th class board not completed at which they use to revise the subject matter of 12th class and need to prepare for entrance examinations like JEE, NEET etc.… which makes them stressful. Due to delay in entrance exams, many students mentally disturbed a lot due to uncertainty of this unprecedented pandemic. I personally felt very nervous in lockdown period because the CLAT exam keeps postponing. In the lockdown period, I did not play, which created more stress due to lack of physical activities. Outdoor activities decrease our stress in our body, which are not possible in the lockdown period, which made more stressful in students` minds.
The pandemic impacted on students’ goals and ambitions that they want to achieve in their life. Due to the pandemic, all UG entrance examinations like CLAT, NEET, and JEE got postponed. Due to this postponement, financially poor students affected because in the period of lockdown as all students are in their home. Financially stabled students can learn well by attending online classes. But financially poor students’ studies in government residential colleges went their homes due to the pandemic and they are unable to study in online platforms because they may not have smartphones, or in villages, data services are very week in India. I interviewed my 12th standard classmate named Sravani she prepared for the CLAT exam from her 11th standard. In the lockdown period, she is in her home and can attend classes online, but her computer got repaired in the initial days of lockdown there is no computer engineer available. It was a time where there is a strict lockdown, and she is in her village in Vijayanagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. She said that lockdown contributed her not to select in the CLAT exam. She aimed to study BA.LLB in NLUs and want to become the youngest Supreme Court Chief justice of India, but she is looking B.A political science in Delhi University as she changed her goal because she not been selected because of the pandemic. I think students studying in rural areas and aspiring to get admitted in top public institutions got affected a lot by the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic impacted positively on improving and learning new skills on students. In my interview, out of nine students six students told me that they learned one skill or the other like cooking, singing, music, dance, agriculture etc... Interestingly in my interview many guys told me that they learnt cooking than girls. I interviewed a 12th pass out student named Anil Kumar, and he came from the agricultural family where his parents are farmers. He told me that “From my class 6 to class 12, I studied in a boarding school. So I won’t have more knowledge about agriculture though my parents are farmers. During the pandemic, I learnt a lot about agricultural farming by helping my parents”. My interviewee named Prasanth says “I had an interest in music but had no time to learn up to my class12 but in the pandemic, I learnt playing the guitar which is a new skill for me”. By interviewing these students, I noticed that many students learnt new skills during the pandemic. I won’t learn any new skill because I am only concentrated on cracking the 18 entrance examinations I had applied for my U.G.
The pandemic made a drastic impact on digitalization. Almost all the students started the academic year 2020-21 with online classes. There are some advantages and disadvantages with online education. I started and completed my UG 1st semester in online mode. As any other student, I started my semester in online but due to the pandemic I had no choice so I fought some advantages in online classes which are I can revise whole class by watching the recording, I am very poor in writing skills so through the pandemic gave a chance to improve my weak points. I asked my interviewees about their online classes experience, and almost all reacted negatively as they won’t like it. I interviewed a student named Prasanth. He says “I joined in Delhi University as due to the pandemic university started online classes. I am attending classes regularly, but as I am from south India, I can’t understand the Hindi language, so I requested professor to teach in only English, not in Hinglish. Still, he replied that if I do not use Hindi, most students can’t understand well. If it is offline, I can teach in both languages, but online it is impossible. Almost all professors mixing Hindi and English in teaching and that was the I hated online classes”. Some institutions had better IT infrastructure, but most small institutions are not handling online classes properly. In a research paper on impact of covid-19 on education in India, Pravat Kumar Jena, claims, “India is not fully equipped to make education reach all corners of the nation via digital platforms” Jena (4). Digital transformation in the educational sector in the pandemic period increases educational inequality in India and other developing countries. All educational institutions adopted online education economically poor students and students in remote villages where network issues are unable to avail education in the period of the pandemic. So we can say covid-19 strengthens educational inequality. In the pandemic period, the average screen time has increased for every student because of online education. I enjoyed sitting in front of the screen and listening online classes initially, but after some weeks I want to get rid of being sitting in front of the computer because before I won`t experience headache and eye strain but now it became common because of online classes. So, the sudden adoption of online classes has both pros and cons on students in India.
All in all the pandemic impacted students` goals, ability to think, learning new skills, drastic adoption of digital education, students’ mental health, where there are some positive changes where many students learnt new skills during the pandemic and negative impact is that students compromised and changed their goals and all. The most negative impact of the pandemic is educational inequality. In my survey, I fought a student Ramesh, who is working after lockdown and not joined his U.G because of financial problems in their family. The positive impact is most students adopted digital education which is not possible in general times. As prime minister of India said, “we need to find opportunity in times of crisis”. Let’s we believe the statement given by our PM and be positive and hopeful that the Covid-19 pandemic leaves us soon.
1. Choi, Soo. “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Year 12 Students.” Home, www.schoolgovernance.net.au/news/the-impact-of-the-covid-19-pandemic-on-year-12-students.
2. “Covid-19 – Effect On Student Life.” Times of India Blog, 23 July 2020, timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/covid-19-effect-on-student-life/covid-19-effect-on-student-life-23470/.
3. Jena, Pravat Kumar. “Impact of Pandemic COVID-19 on Education in India.” SSRN, 14 Sept. 2020, papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3691506.