Not an easy life ahead
Students who study online may not be able to interact face-to-face with teachers and other students, depriving them of an opportunity to develop social and emotional skills. Does it make it harder for them to find a job?
One of the benefits of receiving instruction in a classroom is that it improves social skills, strengthens organizational skills, enhances critical thinking skills, and yes, promotes collaborative learning. There are many more for sure, but these are quite important. Now, the world of education has been turned upside down due to the virus forcing schools and colleges to deliver classes online. Exams are conducted online. There were breaks when students returned to class, but overall lessons took place in front of a camera for the benefit of students sitting in front of a computer screen. Many students attend these classes sitting in their bedrooms or in the living room. In such a situation, how could a student develop these interpersonal skills that would help him adapt to life in the corporate world? And yes, there is also the important issue of the development of one’s emotional intelligence which is the ability to understand, use and manage one’s own emotions in a positive way to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflicts. How do students perceive this and more importantly how do companies in Goa perceive this.
Aditya Krishna Malhotra, a college student in Mapusa, said he took online exams and took online courses for about two years. He said: “We took classes offline for a month and then came back online due to the variation. I prefer offline because you can’t have online labs. If there is a misunderstanding about the material taught offline, it can be sorted out immediately. Listening to English lessons online can be very boring and practical work does not happen. We will not have the skills required for a job. Another student, Siddharth Kumar from a local college, said it was difficult to switch from offline to online. He said, “Attending an online class is like listening to a voice and nothing else. I don’t want to concentrate. When offline, you could see and hear the voice, the changing voice tones, watch the changing expression of the person explaining and most importantly interact with other students, chat and also ask questions of the teacher”. He said it was not possible online. According to him, a school or college helped to develop his emotional and mental quotient. This was not happening now, which could cause problems in the future. Sahil Mahajan, who is studying journalism, said offline lessons were always preferred because sometimes it was difficult to understand what the teacher was explaining online. Classes, he said, were boring and no one took them seriously. Since the courses were online, everyone assumed that the exams would also take place online. The value of the course was that it took place offline. He said: “It will definitely affect our job prospects. I’m pretty worried about that.” Shane D Souza, who aspires to become a cinematographer, said it was vital for him to gain practical experience gained through an internship, but interactions at university were lacking which was a great loss. For potential employers based in Goa, this can be a tricky situation. Ryan Rodrigues, an entrepreneur, felt it was important to give everyone a fair chance. He said: “I would have no problem interviewing the candidate and then assessing them through a competency-based test. Create questions based on the situation and rate the person. Just because he or she couldn’t go to college doesn’t mean he’s not viable. A person’s attitude is important and a person with a good type is always a boon to any employer. Anil Pereira, an entrepreneur, said that if he met a candidate who was eager to learn, he would not hesitate to hire him. He said: “What we do is not rocket science, if you have the interest and the passion then why not. We’ve had people who started in housekeeping and then moved up to supervisors. The ability to learn, assimilate and perform well is valuable to any employer”. Suwarna Surlakar, who has an education-based startup, said she would have no problem hiring the person if she had the required skills she wanted. She said if anyone was good enough they would hire her. He said: “I have noticed that over the past two years many young people are taking online courses and have a lot more knowledge. We also help young people. We now work in the office and there are interactions between juniors and seniors during which they learn a lot”. He said there were challenges, but it always worked. a problem. It has been a very traumatic time for everyone and one can only hope that these students and many more who pass out this year and next will get jobs in the industries they desire.