THE HOME AND THE WORLD
With the worldwide outburst of the Coronavirus and the nation wide lockdown that followed, many notions of space and time collapsed, giving rise to new spatial meanings and inhabitations.
Since all the members of my family are connected to the field of education, the newer modes of communicating and interacting with the various actors in the field has impacted us in multiple ways.
The pandemic situation has pushed us to heavily depend on the digital world and the Internet. Various digital platforms have become necessary tools for the teachers to continue educating their students while staying at home. The world of teaching has entered into the personal spaces of our home where each one of us is using one room at different times of the day to take/attend classes and work during the remaining part of the day.
My parents, who have been practicing pedagogy since the past 25-30 years, were highly comfortable with the modes of teacher-student interaction in the pre-Covid world. Their entire routine from leaving the house every morning to go to their respective colleges, interacting with the students, colleagues and the non teaching staff, the intermittent breaks, the many inter and intra college festivals, competitions, seminars etc to their own comfort in getting out of the house, taking a specific amount of time to travel affected their professional lives. Thus, getting used to the digital platform to communicate with their students has become a very difficult as well as boring task for them. Complains about setting up the online classes, not being able to see the students, conducting online exams as well as staying inside the house all day long is an almost regular scenario.
On the other hand, my brothers and I quickly got used to the online classroom formats and have been using our personal devices intensively for accessing all kinds of materials that we require. A common observation that all three of us have mentioned was, since there was no travelling involved, it gave us a lot of time that we are able to use effectively for various other purposes. The idea of ‘attending school’ while staying at home is seen as a benefit by us as against our parents who constantly feel trapped inside our home, unable to go out in the world to communicate and interact.