One of the biggest casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown has been institutionalised education. Schools have been shut to prevent the spread of the virus and this has given way to online classrooms, a very new concept in India even for the most sophisticated schools. It is commendable how easily some educational institutions have moved to virtual classrooms, all thanks to tools such as Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams. But there are some still struggling to get online. The online classes, whatever the enabling technology, is only as good as the teachers and the ability of the students to grasp the new teaching technique. One of the teachers felt students are actually more responsive and active in online classrooms, compared to when they are in physical ones. "This could be because this is a new concept and they are excited to explore it with the teachers. They also don‟t get distracted by their classmates, which frequently happens in a regular class." Teachers do find the absence of a blackboard a disadvantage and network connectivity a constant problem. "We miss the clarity that a blackboard gives us, we are kind of making do with the virtual whiteboard on Zoom." Shweta Kawatra, a parent who teaches in a New Delhi school, highlights that many students have not been able to take advantage of the virtual platform because they do not have a suitable device at home or lack a good internet connection. "It has its own share of disadvantages too. Too much screen time can be perilous for health. Prolonged online sessions can be overwhelming and may lead to problems related to vision, body posture and sleep disorder," Kawatra adds.
[Excerpt from an Article by Sneha Saha, The Indian Express, dated April 18, 2020]

Question 133

Which of the following is an implicit assumption in the observation that students are more active and responsive in online classrooms as compared to that in physical ones?
I. Students are not serious while studying in physical classrooms.
II. Online classrooms inculcate more interest in students towards studies than the physical classrooms.
III. Students don‘t like physical classrooms at all.
IV. Students sleep in physical classrooms.

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