Pandemic vs academics: Students' grievances on Online Learning

"In online classes, we are only provided with teaching. But everyone is still paying for all the other fees that they cannot avail of." 
By Marbamonlang Rani | SHILLONG:

Since last year, online classes have become more prevalent than ever, certainly because it is the only alternative that can pull students through these restricting times. Many are still trying to adjust to this new mode of learning, and the majority have succeeded in doing so, but there are other significant issues that need to be solved.

Online classes have been substituting offline learning for some time now. This substitution is good until the outlay on online learning surpasses the expenses of the offline mode.

The promotion of quality education has become a subject of great interest. But no one draws out the exact reasons why quality education in Meghalaya is becoming poorer. Nobody talks about the actual reality, the real problem that every student and student's families undergo. Everyone is simply forcing their way out and not relishing in any part of the education that is being imparted online.  

The school and college fees should have been decreased to a certain extent, considering that we are all attending online classes. But many of the educational institutions still carry on with the same fees that were being paid by the students before the pandemic.

We continue to pay for the library, campus, exam, and internet fees that we are not being able to use currently even if we wish to. In fact, we are paying more. In addition to the school and college fees, we are made to pay for our internet data every month (it's a waste especially when there is no internet connectivity).

Despite having paid our examination fees, we also have to spend extra during examinations on A4 sheet papers, whose amount have spiked to 2 rupees per page in many shops. Besides, we are required to use only one side of the paper for writing.

Furthermore, even the question papers that were once printed over a thousand copies are now being distributed with soft copies. Hence, the educational institutions would have been able to save a considerable amount of funds from that too.

We as students are not the ones who are supposed to pay for our answer sheets. It is our schools and colleges that should provide for all such academic necessities. Yet, if we have to buy them by ourselves, then there should at least be a cut off from our payment.

This has become a subject of high concern among the students that has been so lightly disregarded. Due to the lockdown, many families are struggling because of their stagnant income. Most of our parents are finding it hard to fill our bellies, let alone recharging internet bills and paying extra for exam papers.

In online classes, we are only provided with teaching. But everyone is still paying for all the other fees that they cannot avail of. 

As students, most of us are still unemployed and are wholly dependant on our parents and guardians. Despite the school/college fees, the extra expenses on online learning have added to our financial worries.

Hence, we ask the Education Department of Meghalaya to kindly reflect on our grievances.

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