With no end in sight of the pandemic, numerous unique problems are unravelling. The recent ones have arisen in the education sector. Teachers from all across the nation have reported cases of cyberbullying, abuse and harassment.
Fresh reports from Kerala, Delhi, and other states have emerged highlighting the difficulties teachers are now encountering in conducting online classes, with many left in sobs, despair and shock on being at the receiving end of lewd remarks, abuses and insults.
Every sector is delivering required modifications to its earlier functioning. Sadly, in the education sector, this adaptation seems rougher. Students’ version comes laced with unaddressed issues of connectivity, lack of devices, increased screen times, and the absence of a learning environment. Teachers, sans any training or preparation or equipment, are now forced to teach through online mediums or lose their jobs. The emergence of such cases of online bullying and harassment have only worsened the infinite problems.
These circumstances are indeed exceptional; both the teachers and the students find themselves especially at the brunt of this pandemic. The lack of constant updations in the Indian education system has resulted in neither of the two groups accustomed to these abrupt, unforeseen yet inevitable alterations.
But, bullying and harassment are unacceptable and outright degrading. We must be empathetic towards these mentors who are, every day, trying to re-learn their teaching processes. While they acquire these skills, we mustn’t expect them to be excellent in an instant.
We are all sailing in the same boat that is rocking on crazy waters. And it is going to take a while before this storm dies out. Till then, as we are all trying to figure out ways in which we can reinstate some normalcy in our activities, together, we must foster a compassionate environment for all.
(Published on July 22, 2020)