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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Career dreams amid Covid-19: 5 major crises students are facing

The results of Class 10 and 12 board exams are in the process of getting released. Unlike the pre-Covid era, the newspapers this time don’t have the happy and colorful photos of jubilant students rejoicing after acing the two major exams of their life. Rather, the news outlets are full of stories on the confusions and uncertainties of students about their education and career in this Covid-19 crisis.

The pandemic has brought the education sector and the students’ community in front of an uncertain future. The problems are multifarious. So far the Centre hasn’t yet announced any plan or measure to alleviate the fear of the student’s community about their uncertain future.

Here, we will highlight 5 major problems of students and academicians caused by the pandemic

1. Future plans jeopardized with exams canceled

Millions of students were in the middle of their exams, be it in their schools, colleges or universities when the pandemic hit India. With few or even half of the papers remaining, they had to wrap up and sit back in their homes having no idea about the future course of events. Worst hit are the final-year students who are about to leave their institutions to embark on a new journey. There are enough confusions and negative thoughts among them regarding admission to the next course, choice of stream and ultimately starting their professional career. Another issue that bugs the community, especially those who work hard to get a good percentile or GPA, is average scoring. The pandemic affected the fair assessment of students’ skills and knowledge as well. To know more about the doubts and dissatisfaction of students about the marking system of CBSE click here. This is just to provide an example. The nature and extent of worry and anxiety of students are the same irrespective of their board of education.

2. Cloud over study abroad dreams

This is like a big dream deferred for those who were eyeing to study abroad. While many had to postpone their plans for next year, others had to abandon the idea altogether. Several factors such as personal funds, scholarships, visa, change of rules by varsities are associated with it. This is not only true for students as many mid-life professionals too resume their academic career after gaining decent work experience. Many even left their jobs after getting offer letters from their respective universities. But now all seem a distant dream now. For a large section of these applicants, taking online courses, as offered by some institutions until they can reopen their campuses, are not enough. After all, you put your hard-earned life savings to benefit from global exposure. To know more about the shattered study abroad dreams of students, click here.

3. Research work halted for lack of funds

The Covid-19 crisis has made research scholars victims of the situation. Generally, those who want to pursue their professional career in academics, aim to get a PhD degree. With colleges and universities closed and working under new rules and regulations owing to the pandemic situation, the job prospects at these places are grim. The situation is no better at foreign universities. If this is one issue that keeps the scholars worried, lack of research funds, access to study materials, sample collection and its useful analysis before a certain period of time plague the entire PhD students’ community. For library work and field visit cannot simply be replaced by studying online and attending webinars. To know more about the research scholars’ problems, click here.

4. Parents feel school fee hike pangs

The incidents of parents and guardians of students protesting fee hike by schools have been emerging for quite some time now from different cities. Since students are unable to attend classroom education for the pandemic at present, parents demand fee waiver from schools. Parents are reluctant to pay for the poor car, school bus fees, library, games, activities, laboratory and common room facilities as their kids are studying at home using the internet. Also, many working parents have either faced lay offs or pay cuts in their offices which force them to monetary struggle. Protests have taken place in Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune and Mumbai among many other cities. Some parents even faced legal charges after taking part in those protests. To know more, click here.

5. No clear-cut plan by the Centre for students

There is no central plan or policy yet that caters to the students’ interest and reduce their doubts and anxieties. Critics and academicians have alleged that the Centre, through the University Grants Commission, has taken unilateral decisions that would only worsen the plight of the students. It seems that even the UGC is confused about how to conduct exams for those in higher studies. Initially, the UGC recommended for online exams in colleges and universities, but when students pointed out about lack of internet facilities that a majority of them face, the UGC suggested blended exams (a combination of online and offline). To know more click here. The government is even allegedly forcing a group of students to take up exams no matter what! Why? because they are short of doctors.

Besides these major issues, there are many more. Many students who leave their hometown to move to other states are facing accommodation problems for hostels have been closed by their institutions and landlords warn to evict them. The psychological effects of online education are multiple. It enhances boredom, health hazards and is unable to create the ideal classroom environment. Students miss their peers, teachers and school time. Many fatal incidents are occurring over this online education system.

Still some positives are happening even in these tumultuous times. This is the first time, we saw CBSE results are out without merit lists which create false images in front of students about life, growth and success or failure. Secondly, the US government has decided to roll back the students’ visa policy. Though we still have to wait and watch how it pans out ultimately, but this is definitely some relief for many.

 

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