The education system has exploited us on accounts of the lethargic lifestyles we are leading from home. |

The education system has exploited us on accounts of the lethargic lifestyles we are leading from home.

"The education system has exploited us on accounts of the lethargic lifestyles we are leading from home."

‘The stringent absurdities the educational institutes endured replicating offline classes into virtual, putting Hareet and like-minded people from enormous youth ocean into a draining situation. Since the first wave of the pandemic, people have been massively getting deprived of their usual luxuries and bound to self-isolation and individual interaction. Hareet’s tale defines one dimension of coping with the tremendous atrocities online education and others put to oneself suddenly. As far as I can remember, in Mid-March 2020,  ‘coronavirus’ just kicked in, and Delhi and Hyderabad were contributing to the national caseload. It wasn’t anyone’s grave concern of botheration. Our B.Sc syllabus for the 5th semester almost got over, and we were getting prepared for the End-sem Exams. When the cases started rising, lockdown got declared on 24th March, and the exams got delayed for 15 days. We all got relieved because I wasn’t prepared enough for the exams and got more time. As the curve started getting steep, the lockdown kept extending, and so did our exam dates. It kept getting immensely frustrating. It kept getting piled up for having to write a doctrine. I started working with CSR, who also provided internship opportunities for the Biochemistry students. Initially, it was hard having put up with,  who have no experience in the field whatsoever and making the entire tenure sufferable. At one point, the instructors told us to write about ‘ What if I were the Prime Minister?’ I ignored the 3rd-grade shenanigans they were juggling. The activities that were supposed to revolve around the internship were barely there. I had to quit in terms of the infantilizing handling of the program and wasting my precious time. This year, they admitted more than 20,000 applicants for the batch. The whole process was downright unprofessional. Plus, Biochemistry demands practical experiments. The program was virtual. So, mismanagement from all four sides of the organization made it up to the roof. I was also preparing for my entrance examinations for M.Sc. I started applying for internships elsewhere. Their imposing nature of interviews aggravated anxiety issues and made me unable to speak. It started getting to the point where the response span between me and the interviewer was5 minutes. The interview process doesn’t appeal to me. At one point, they are just looking for corporate clones and not diversified individuals. As a result, I could not get into anything. My friends were getting incredible opportunities, and I was severely getting behind. I started doubting myself, and it made me even more anxious. I had to turn to my therapist, for a long time. I still do, the whole process hasn’t been easy. I was on medication. The level of nervousness the anxiety causes is spellbound. The online classes have been primarily exhausting throughout the pandemic. In the lectures, you could get a strong sense of murk in the online room. The entire lecture felt very unproductive. It was only the lecturer’s voice and the PPT to accompany us and nothing felt lively about the class. In my offline class, I was proactive. I used to be very interactive and prompt in responses. I also used to ask my questions and doubts then and there itself. Since the online classes, the teaching prospects, and teaching patterns drastically changed, it felt out of context and dematerializing, it became utterly meaningless. This is why you would find most people logging in to the class and going off to sleep. They could not cooperate with the laziness being dragged to lengths as the lockdown progressed. We got innumerable assignments and had plenty of exams to appear for. We had exams after every two weeks. The assignments didn’t seem so tiresome, because you get to learn something out of them. Exams, however, are no one’s fantasy to live through. The college expected us to type in the answers. I had no qualms with it since I have mastered the art. The other students found it insanely tedious and monotonous. One student remained one minute behind the submission time and had to retake the entire exam next semester. The college was being grossly indifferent to the fact, just because we were continuing our education virtually does not mean the rigorous exam and assignments should be rubbed off our faces, far too long. When the caseload started being negligible, and colleges reopened, it seemed life will go back to normal, and we can resume our activities like before. However, like every post-pandemic effect, our college too showcased some. The lack of enthusiasm in teaching. It didn’t feel the teachers were being at the top of their shoes for this. The hostellers were being charged Rs. 80, 000 for just 3 months. They were running a literal money heist on the pandemic loss. At the time of resurgence, colleges began to shut down again. People ended up in homes, again. Bad time for hostellers to come back. They were promised their share of offline classes, but the disappointment was served 3 months after. This semester required us to perform practicals, so we couldn’t do that, unfortunately. It was decided to install a portable camera for us to live-stream the whole 3-hour activity. 3 hours and live streaming does not usually go together and with the quality of the camera, none of us could watch the live experiment. Even after consistent complaints of video and learning issues, the authority answered like the authority,  having zero accountability over pathetic actions. With the current scenario, having witnessed deaths taking place in rapid numbers, it feels nearly impossible to wrap one’s head around the constant loss of lives. The more I see death news, the more suffocated and anxious I feel. I have been doing things on my part to alleviate the issue. I put around the word to make plasma available for Covid patients. Whatever contacts I had with me, I pushed info around to make beds and oxygen available for seriously critical people. With the pandemic, I realized the importance of life and people fighting for it. Because even patients who have recovered from Covid-19, have burdening side effects.  I get anxious, but I talk to my therapist and I feel fine, then. I have been trouble adjusting to the new normal, but if it is what it takes to survive, we need to understand how gruesome the times have been and how we can be rational people can bring it to a big end.

Ramit Mehrotra
Content Writer

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