Ekraj Bhandari

Virtual Learning is a learning experience that is enhanced through utilizing computer, laptop, or any other electronic data processing gadgets through internet. This method of learning most commonly takes place in an online environment. The teaching activities are carried out online whereby the teachers are physically separated.

Virtual Learning has many forms and related terms. These are seem very similar but represent different aspects of learning and teaching can help us understand the essence of “Virtual Learning

The most commonly used ones are :

v  E-learning

v  Web- based Learning

v  Online Learning

v  Distance Learning

v  Blended Learning and many more.

Virtual Learning combines all of the above mentioned in terms. It can overcome many drawbacks of the physical environment. I will mention its challenges and opportunities later.

Now I am going to appreciate about the Virtual training for Basic and Secondary Level English teachers conducted by the Education Division of Tulsipur Sub Metropolitan, Dang since Jestha 13 to 15-2077. This Three day virtual training in ELT based on the theme ” Transformation in ELT practices by the different National and International Scholars. It was really wonderful and fruitful for us. For this I can’t remain same not to thank whole Education Division  team of Tulsipur Sub metropolitan, Dang.

As I am going to mention my opposition here that it is not fruitful until and unless implemented in the real field in our life in such weak development infrastructure in our semi- urban area . And it is very much challenging job for implementing virtual learning in to our children who are in such background.

I would like to present some challenges over this virtual learning. One of the fundamental challenges is that : Is everybody can have the access of internet in our locality ? Can they have or afford such electronic gadgets such as Computers, Laptops, Palm top, Tab, smart phones etc ? Can they handle it ? Can their parents handle it? Is there any guarantee of providing regular electricity   by electricity authority office in our area? Is there any assurance of Nepal Telecom to provide internet facilities either data or ADSL with no or less cost in our area? Can the teachers handle such virtual classes with new technology easily who are habituated in traditional style of teaching ? Are the teachers really interested and eager to grab new technology like virtual classes beyond chalk and duster method ? If so I have no doubt it creates digital divide those who are in access of internet and not. For this we must think it from three perspectives like students, parents and teachers too. Can we control our children in such virtual classes ? Can we make assure to the parents about such online classes ? I have a fear that It may backfire us.  They are the direct facing problems and many more challenges can be there. Doesn’t it ?

 This is the age of science and technology. We teachers must be updated according to the time and situation even for our existence. If we can’t change, as per mentioned it is sure we might be outdated. It is the bitter truth in front of us. Not only within this pandemic situation of COVID – 19, even after this we must change ourselves. I think we are not the teachers now a days we are the facilitators. We can’t teach today’s children we should only facilitate them according to their choices and wishes by motivating them . We can’t forget that our children are in empty mind they are far better than us in the field of technology.

Now its turn to view the benefits or opportunities of virtual learning. One of the great opportunities for us to develop our skill in this pandemic situation or in Lock down. We have to utilize this “Lock down” for “Luck down” for our betterment and to develop us with new technology not to be passive. We don’t know how long this situation will remain. It might take More than One or two years to overcome this pandemic condition in my personal opinion. During this long period we can’t remain same. The government will make strong decision how to handle the education sectors soon. We can’t run our schools physically because they are being changed into quarantine now a days. But we must be worry about our children. We must facilitate them as we can. It is our responsibility too. For how long time we count the infection of COVID-19 and post in our face book wall ? Isn’t it ? I humbly request all the teachers that we change ourselves first. Don’t take it negatively

Lastly, I summarize the some benefits of virtual learning. There are many advantages to virtual learning that can help our students sharpen their skills and grow in their career. Courses taught online provide students the flexibility to learn on their own schedule instead of a mandatory class time. Online classes are less cost than traditional on-school / on- campus  courses making them more affordable. Virtual courses give students more selection in their own. And virtual learning gives students access to classmates all around the world. Providing networking opportunities that they can’t get through traditional method of teaching.