SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THE CHANGING FACE OF EDUCATION — A STUDY ON THE STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS OF KOLKATA
Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting life-long learning opportunities for all’ is one of the targets of sustainable development. But the sudden outbreak of Covid-19 has put a major challenge for countries like India where having access to classroom education is a daydream for many children. The rationale that having online classes is better than no classes on the ground of maintaining social distancing has accelerated the educational inequality further. To understand how our students as well as teachers are adopting technology, teaching learning process, their experiences and obstacles faced by them in this regard a survey in various schools, colleges and universities across Kolkata had been conducted from the perspectives of both the groups. Result showed neither teachers nor the students have gladly accepted this new paradigm. Unstable internet connection is the major hindrance as pointed out by both educator and learner. Students have also pointed out assignment submissions, doubt clearing as some important obstacles. Though everyone has accepted that technology driven education will lead to digital divide in the education system, it must be acknowledged this crisis has led to a drastic change in the higher education system.