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COVID-19: Activities and learning during lockdown


The ongoing pandemic has left many depressed. However, many see hidden opportunities in the Covid-19 related lockdowns.

By Dartlungshang K

In the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, everyone has been literally forced to stay indoors and maintain “social distancing”. Schools are shut, educational institutions are closed, and grocery shops are adorned with empty shelves. Amidst the fear of the pandemic, people across the world are trying their hands on something they love to do or something which they have never done before.

Indeed, it has been hard to ignore the spread of the dreaded virus which had affected the world including our own localities. However, with the access to the internet and online sources, the pandemic has also provided an opportunity to upgrade oneself to another level. With many online learning apps and most of the top universities gone online, it is a window of opportunities for those who intend to learn.

This pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for some, especially working mothers. Juggling between virtual school and working in the kitchen has become a new normal for some parents. Staying active and engaging with kids surely is daunting yet pleasing. With uncountable numbers of courses online, this pandemic has turned out to be the biggest gateway for distance education for those who always have felt the need to upgrade themselves to another level. Not only in terms of online learning but the pandemic has propelled the public to push back to traditional self-sustenance lifestyle by initiating home-gardening and farming.

With the upward growth in industrialisation and civilisation, there has been a shift from slow to a competitive environment where humanitarian services have become near extinct. It is pleasing to see many have exhibited good deeds like feeding the homeless, caring for contraband drug users, showing concern for the differently-abled, loving the aged, bonding with the neighborhoods, sharing provisions, etc.

Having described the situation, allow me to list of what you can possibly do and learn during the current pandemic:

1.    LEARN SIGN LANGUAGE: British Sign Language is offering “pay what you can” courses during the pandemic to encourage more people to learn how to be adept in sign language.

2.    Take up your area of interest course from the world’s top university that has gone online, like Harvard University, University of California, Georgia institutes of technology, Ecole Polytechnique, Michigan State University, California Institute of Art, University College London etc.

3.    Start an online book club: Combine reading with socializing by starting an online book club with your friends

4.    Home workout: There are plenty of apps and videos to follow. Workouts are vital for mental health

5.    Hands in the kitchen:  This is a great time to expand your knowledge of variegated cuisines.

6.    Kitchen gardening: Collecting items for cooking a meal is an uphill task. Having a kitchen garden can come as a rescue and will not leave a huge hole in your pocket as it prevents bulk purchasing for the little garnishing that we require.

“This pandemic has been a blessing for me, as I could take up many courses online like, image management, soft-skill, train the trainers.” said Ranjita Khaidem, who is a master trainer at National Institute of Skill Training. With much training she acquired online, Ranjita now is one of the master trainers who impart skills online for other learning enthusiasts.

However, the structural change in learning due to the pandemic is not in favour for some rural areas in India especially the Northeastern part of India due to its given topography and terrain.

“I couldn’t attend the classes regularly due to slow network connectivity in my village in Senapati.” said Soyophy, a student of Manipur University.

In this digital learning era, how about those homes with more than one kid with a single device in a lower income group? Steps must therefore be taken to make online learning more accessible and everyone can benefit from this mode.

(The writer is a final year student of MA Mass Communication at Manipur University)

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