Schools and other educational institutions across the globe have witnessed a shift towards online learning as countries around the world have been under a lockdown for over a month now due to coronavirus. India is no different and the country has an extremely scalable prospects for digital education, Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee told The Indian Express. “My prediction is that many more people will now take online classes… One good news for people in India is that this kind of education model is extremely scalable. What had constrained education until now is the need for physical proximity,” he told the newspaper. While calling this shift a “forced one”, he said that it is still a “good one”.
Bringing world together
Explaining why online learning has changed the education scenario, the Indian-origin economist said that with classes going online, someone in India can now take a course at MIT. “And once even MIT students start taking the same classes, people won’t snigger that it’s an online course. That’s a big shift,” he said. He also said that if other prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, IITs start having online classes as well, the respect of online education will reach new heights. Abhijit Banerjee also runs a Master’s programme (in Data, Economics & Development Policy) with MIT which is half online.
Both online and schools are here to stay
The shift does not necessarily mean that the traditional ways of learning cannot exist in the presence of online. In fact, both online and offline are likely to stay. “I don’t think online education can replace schools because parents need to go to work,” Abhjit Banerjee said, adding that children need some kind of monitoring. Also, schools also ensure that children get to socialise, learn to sit in one place, listen to the teacher. However, in the coming future, teachers will probably take on the role of minders as schools put more learning material online.