Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Teaching in Tough Times

Everything was normal and routine when the year 2020 started. We, the teachers, were going to schools/ colleges, taking up classes, organising different academic activities.

It was beyond our wildest imagination that the coming months are going to put us into Corona cage.  In no fancy, we were thinking of encountering trials and turbulences of this sort in our personal and professional lives.

But if life could progress according to one’s wish then it would not be the life as we know it. It surprised or rather shocked us with what we could not have thought of, at least, in this scientifically advanced times.

It’s all happening because the teaching fraternity has shown its utmost commitment to provide the best to the students.

Starting from Wuhan, China in late 2019, Covid 19 spread across the globe and has bent each country on its knees, dismantling all claims of development and progress.

India took Covid-19 seriously when the prime Minister announced first lockdown in the last week of March though the virus has had knocked the door in January itself. From then onwards, almost all of us remained cocooned out of fear of the tiniest demon.

Its only after five months, life is again trying to come back to normal despite no sign of slowing down by pandemic. Is it zeal vs fear? well, who knows? Rather some of us are gradually becoming accustomed to live within the four walls, others daring day in and day out for their daily needs.

virtual classes

With almost all the industries and offices gradually opening up, the countless are being compelled to join the outgoing gentry even if they don’t want to.

The government may have realised that coronavirus is here to stay for long and life(economy?) cannot be put on hold because of Covid-19. In between, the educational institutions are still closed as lives of the students are precious to both parents and government.

However, teaching has been one thing which never allowed the pandemic to overpower it even during the strictest lockdown. Taking the advantage of digital advancements, the teachers made themselves acquainted with multiple virtual platforms and took no time to switch to online classes.

From higher education institutions to primary school, every teacher took up the challenge of teaching through virtual modes with much more positivity and enthusiasm. For some senior teachers, it was quite a difficult task but having their young digitally proficient kids around them, they managed to learn to take online classes.

For most of the female teachers, the difficulty is double as they are managing home (without domestic helps), kids & elders of the family (mostly with pressing demands) along with multiple teaching assignments.

And one must not forget the online disturbance and harassment, the teachers have to face and tackle on daily basis.  But soon they fought back and learned to ‘mute’ and ‘remove’ such miscreants.

Moreover, the digital divide of the society is giving them another kind of pressure, moral pressure. Some teachers are sending audio video lectures to the students who can’t attend online classes. There are many who are even reaching out to students through community radio, visiting students’ homes to fulfil their duty. 

The colleges have also adapted the similar culture. Apart from virtual classes, they are also reaching out to the world class professors to have their guest lectures through web for the benefit of the students at large. The webinars and e-conferences on various subjects are being organised continuously. The professors across borders are also happily consenting to impart knowledge without any financial gain. 

For most of the female teachers, the difficulty is double as they are managing home (without domestic helps), kids & elders of the family (mostly with pressing demands) along with multiple teaching assignments.

It’s all happening because the teaching fraternity has shown its utmost commitment to provide the best to the students. Their hard work and dedication is definitely worthy of society’s salutation.

virtual classes
virtual classes

They may not be the warriors, fighting against coronavirus in the hospitals as doctors and health workers or part of police force relentlessly standing on the road warning people against dangers of Covid 19 but they are definitely, the torch bearers of hope. Yes, the hope that everything is going to be alright one day and that whatever be the situation one should never stop from performing duties.

No matter what the situation is, one must be open to new challenges, the lesson teachers have taught through their own conduct during this difficult time. Certainly, the teachers have shown the real meaning of care and compassion to all of us.

On this 5th September, when you celebrate teacher’s day and pay homage to Doctor Sarvepalli Radha Krishnan, do remember that there are teachers around you who deserve equal acknowledgment and applause.

Their relentless pursuit to impart education deserves nothing less than your heartfelt gratitude and thumping appreciation. What else can be better tribute to the man whose birthday has been dedicated to teachers?

Dr. Neha Tiwari
Dr. Neha Tiwari
Dr Neha Tiwari is an academic, writer, critic and filmmaker. She has been nominated as a member of the jury for best writing in cinema for the 65th national film awards. She has written 6 state-level radio feature and 1 Serial for AIR. Her area of interest includes media, literature and life. She teaches in Karim City College Jamshedpur as an assistant professor of English. She is also nurturing Mass Communication as professor Incharge since 2005.

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