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Virtual learning is the need of the hour but it can’t replace real classrooms

Kunwar Pushpendra Pratap Singh

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In this global crisis, the virtual system of learning has proved its merits. As the technology advances, this system is here to stay. Virtual learning provides various options such as e-mail, online chat and video conferences. This method is opted these days due to the shutdown of schools, colleges and other educational institutions. But accepting the virtual method doesn’t mean rejecting the traditional classroom culture. The convenience and low-cost model of virtual learning cannot replace the experiential learning of human values and character development in the classroom setting.

 During the pandemic, virtual learning is important so that the education of children is not hindered. However, classrooms are important too as the children can sit together and concentrate on a particular topic. Although online learning gives students an opportunity to learn but it also distracts them. Once their lessons are done, they start surfing other things. Hence, the impact of learning is uncertain and not always optimum. But in a classroom, there is only one channel to communicate. A teacher-student relationship in a real classroom situation cannot be replaced. The questions which a student can ask in a classroom, is not possible virtually. Education is not limited to the syllabus only. It also includes discipline, manners, morals and interaction with other students and teachers. These traits are difficult to inject through online teaching.

 In remote areas, many people don’t own Android phones or gadgets. Those having gadgets are unable to pay the price of the data packs. Though the teachers send assignments on WhatsApp groups, the students experience difficulties in accessing the contents. Sometimes, the signal is lost and the class is missed. Online teaching is a good platform but it is not for everyone. It has some requirements like a good Internet connection and an interface, but not every student can afford it. Moreover, the blue screen of these gadgets can affect the eyes.

There is another drawback that a teacher cannot monitor the body language of the students and ensure their focus. Studies suggest that children learn better through faceto-face interaction and group study. Virtual learning may not clear our doubts completely and we are unable to interact with our teachers and professors. There should be some provision for clearing the doubts. In addition, classroom lessons are good for primary students as they learn to become disciplined. In classrooms, students learn about their weaknesses and strengths besides focusing on social interaction as a means to boost self-confidence.

 Online learning is an interesting medium as students can attend classes taught by teachers from across the world. If one doesn’t understand a concept taught by one teacher, he or she can refer to another one. We can even get a threedimensional view of objects online which helps us understand certain scientific concepts better. In any case, there is an ocean of videos on every topic on YouTube, which the students can access for free.

The e-learning platform is the best substitute to classroom learning for now. Besides, it is more innovative and makes learning interesting and creative for students. It is important that we support teachers and educators in their endeavours to educate students from home. The working students and professionals prefer online mode. However, presently, there is no choice but to go for virtual learning and embrace the changes with a positive mindset. But as something is better than nothing, it’s good to have virtual classes in this period. Many software solutions and applications such as Zoom, Webex, Amazon Chime, and Microsoft Teams, allow video conferencing. We also need to take care of the fact that the software or application used for the virtual classroom is secure. In India, we don’t have a lot of experience in digital learning but we had to resort to it as finding a substitute for classroom teaching was the need of the hour. The concept of online classes is not new. A collective effort of teachers, students and parents is important to ensure that students’ education is not affected by the pandemic.

Unlike traditional mode of learning, e-learning saves time, money and energy. It is a preferred method that promotes knowledge enhancement among students while they are in their comfort zone. Teaching and learning in a virtual classroom are a unique experience both for teachers and students. The best part about online learning is that the students can watch recorded lectures, which is not possible in regular classrooms. Virtual learning is bliss if students and teachers have easy access to technology.

Our main motive should be to get education. Technology has narrowed the bridge between virtual and classroom learning in the modern world. Online mode of learning is the best choice during the pandemic as it adheres to the norms of social distancing. This method will ensure that students spend their time productively during the tough times. Also, it’s important that we appreciate the efforts of institutions and teachers who are working recklessly towards betterment of students.

The author is a journalist and holds a PhD in Journalism and Mass Communication from Banaras Hindu University.

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‘Black Panther’ director considered quitting filmmaking after Chadwick Boseman’s death

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‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler has revealed that he considered quitting filmmaking after actor Chadwick Boseman’s demise. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Coogler opened up about it.
“I was at a point when I was like, ‘I’m walking away from this business,’” Coogler stated.
“I didn’t know if I could make another movie period [or] another ‘Black Panther’ movie, because it hurt a lot. I was like, ‘Man, how could I open myself up to feeling like this again?’”
Boseman died in August 2020 after a private battle with colon cancer.
Coogler also shared that he spent weeks revisiting footage of himself with Boseman, who he saw as a major creative collaborator and champion of “Black Panther.”
Returning to memories of his own relationship with the actor, the filmmaker began to rediscover his passion for the kingdom of Wakanda and its narrative possibilities.
“I was poring over a lot of conversations that we had, towards what I realised was the end of his life,” Coogler continued. “I decided that it made more sense to keep going.”
Coogler has returned to direct Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which follows characters played by returning cast members Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Winston Duke, as they confront the death of Boseman’s King T’Challa.
On Monday, the second trailer of ‘Wakanda Forever’ was released. The film is scheduled to hit theatres on 11 November 2022, in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.

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A Hindu temple in Muslim heartland of Dubai

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A new Hindu temple constructed in Jebel Ali in Dubai opened on Tuesday, one day ahead of the Dussehra festival.
The Khaleej Times reported that the temple is an extension of the Sindhi Guru Darbar Temple, one of the oldest Hindu temples in the UAE.
The temple’s foundation was laid in February 2020, and the inauguration fulfils a decades-long Indian dream of having a place of worship in the area.
The temple, which will be officially open to the public on October 5—the day of the Dussehra festival, welcomes people of all faiths and has allowed entry to worshippers and other visitors to view the 16 deities and other interior works, reported Gulf News.
Welcoming people from all faiths, the temple has already had its soft opening on 1 September 2022, where thousands of visitors were allowed to get a glimpse of the interiors of the temple built with white marble. It has ornate pillars, Arabic and Hindu geometric designs on the facade, and bells on the ceiling.
The temple’s management activated the QR-code-based appointment booking system via its website on its soft opening.
From day one, the temple has received many visitors, especially over the weekends.
The restricted entry has been regulated through QR-coded appointments for crowd management and to ensure social distancing, the report said.
Most of the deities are installed in the main prayer hall, with a large 3D-printed pink lotus unfurling across the central dome.
According to the official temple website, Dubai’s new Hindu temple will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Meet the man spreading joy on Ferris wheel at Lav Kush Ramlila

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Bustling noises of cheers and laughter echo on the grounds of Lav Kush Ramlila as the annual festivities of Dussehra make their way onto people’s calendars every year. The past two years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, were a blow to small-scale businesses and vendors. But this year’s Navaratri has brought back the good old charm of festive love and celebrations.
Among many who spread joy is a man who brings smiles to people’s faces with his merry-go-round and giant ferris wheels.
Known to have been one of the best in business for 40 years, Mohammed Aslam gives the magical touch to Lav Kush Ramlila every year with fun amusement rides.
“I have worked with the Lav Kush Ramlila committee since 1992 and plan to keep working with them because I get a lot of respect here,” said Mohammed Aslam as he expressed his gratitude.
Like many business establishments that suffered at the hands of Covid-19, he emphasised how the pandemic played a spoilsport for his business in the past two years as well. “The past two years, in fact, were quite stressful in terms of business. Not just me, my staffers were also distressed due to the lockdown,” he said.
However, a few minutes later, he exuberantly expressed how well the business is picking up and that he was extremely happy to see Ramlila making a comeback this year.
Mohammed Aslam, a resident of Daryaganj in Delhi, conducts many fairs across the Hindi heartland but says he is happiest during Ramlila because of the joy and brotherhood that the festival binds people with.
Every year, the Lav Kush Ramlila is held at the Lal Qila (Red Fort) and thousands of people gather at the place to eagerly watch the pages of the Ramayana come to life.
Not just that, gorging on amazing street food delicacies, taking an adrenaline-pumping fun ride, and just soaking in the festive mood with loved ones, make it an exciting place for people from all walks of life – age, gender, and religion no bar. This year’s speciality, however, lies in the beauty of the backdrop of the Ram Lila – a replica of the famous Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
Talking about the schedule this year, Ramlila began on September 26, and will culminate with a special appearance of ‘Baahubali’ superstar Prabhas on 5 October.

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Kanye West bats for ‘White Lives Matter’

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Kanye West has hit the headlines yet again. After making his ramp debut at the Balenciaga show at Paris Fashion Week, Kanye staged a surprise Yeezy fashion show on Monday to showcase his season 9 collection.
Before the models arrived, West delivered a speech while sporting the same bejewelled flip-flops he wore last week and a ‘White Lives Matter’ T-shirt with the Pope’s face on the front.
According to Page Six, he made numerous allusions, including his ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s 2016 Paris robbery, his former manager Scooter Braun, his difficulties breaking into the fashion industry, his most recent breakup with Gap, and much more.
“I am Ye, and everyone here knows that I am the leader,” he said at one point, referencing his new legal name. “You can’t manage me.”
Page Six reports that Kanye teased the names of famous models who were expected to make an appearance at his show, including Kardashian, ex-girlfriend Irina Shayk, and current flame Candice Swanepoel. He also teased the names of other well-known figures like Beyonce, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie, Lauryn Hill, Naomi Campbell, Emily Ratajkowski, Gisele Bundchen, Bella Hadid, and Amelia Gray Hamlin.
However, it appears that only Shayk, Campbell, and Hamlin made an appearance, with the Russian model standing on the sidelines while the other two walked the runway.
The same shirt with ‘White Lives Matter’ inscribed on the back was also worn by some of the models in the show.
Over the past week, West has been attending fashion shows in Paris and London. On Sunday, he even made his runway debut as a model by introducing the Balenciaga show. The star’s trip down the slick runway was watched by Khloe Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and their daughter North West from the front row.

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5 of the strangest things that have fallen from the sky

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What have you seen falling from the sky other than rain or snow? Can you imagine if fish, spiders, or even a strange substance that looked a whole lot like blood started raining down from above? Well, some people around the world certainly can! Here are some of the weirdest things that have ever fallen from the sky.

  1. Fish

Can you imagine fishes falling from the sky? It is going to be a weird sight for sure. But there is an explanation for this. In coastal areas, stormy weather can create a waterspout, a tornado-like phenomenon that can suck marine life out of bodies of water like lakes and oceans. The wind will then carry the fish inland, where they’ll come tumbling to the ground. It’s been documented everywhere from Sri Lanka to Australia to Mexico, and as recently as 2017. Sometimes, if the fish are edible, residents of the affected communities will celebrate the “fish rain” as a boon. 

2. Frogs

Frogs can also become a victim of waterspouts, due to which they fall on the land surprising the people living on the land. Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclides Lembus wrote about instances when so many frogs rained from the sky that “the houses and the roads have been full of them,” and in 2005, residents of Odzaci, Serbia, saw thousands of tiny frogs fall with passing storm clouds. Though sometimes, the lengthy fall will kill the critters, other times, they will hop and amble around their new locality. In Serbia, for instance, villagers reported that the fallen frogs simply hopped away to look for water.

3. Golf Balls

Anyone would be surprised but this has happened in Florida in 1969. Perhaps even weirder, no local golf courses were missing any balls. The reason was never entirely confirmed, but most experts theorized that a waterspout scooped up all of the golf balls that had been hit into the water by errant golfers.

4. Spiders

Creepy spiders falling from the sky can make anyone wants to disappear. It happened in 2015 in Australia, and then even more recently in Brazil in 2019. But, unlike the fish and the frogs, the spiders were not yanked from their homes by violent storms. The spider rains result from a process called “ballooning,” where the spiders produce filaments to launch themselves into the air. They do this in an attempt to catch an air current and travel to a new location, and it’s something they do fairly often. So why aren’t spider rains more common, you ask? That’s because it’s very uncommon for huge amounts of spiders to do this at the same time.

5. Money

The only rain that is pretty is raining money. Raining money has occurred several times throughout history, some of them recently. In 2015, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of United Arab Emirates dirham currency showered over Kuwait City. In Serbia, a plane carrying gold and diamonds spilled some cargo over the airport runway in 2018. Back stateside, Indianapolis experienced a similar phenomenon in 2017 when an electrician noticed around $200 worth of bills blowing off of a roof where he was working. 

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Centre approves amendments to FM radio guidelines

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The “Policy Guidelines on Expansion of FM Radio Broadcasting Services through Private Agencies (Phase-III)”, also known as the “Private FM Phase-III Policy Guidelines,” contained three amendments that the cabinet approved on Tuesday in order to allow radio channels to take advantage of economies of scale and enhance ease of doing business.

“The decision was taken in the last Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” ministry of information and broadcasting said in a statement.

The first change is the removal of the 3-year window period for FM radio authorization restructuring within the same management group during the license’s 15-year term.

The government has also agreed to the radio industry’s long-standing demand that the 15% National Cap on Channel Holding be lifted.

These three amendments together will help private FM radio industry to “fully leverage the economies of scale and pave the way for further expansion of FM radio and entertainment to Tier-III cities in the country”. “This will not only create new employment opportunities but also ensure that music and entertainment over the FTA (Free to Air) radio media is available to the common man in the remotest corners of the country,” the ministry said.

According to the statement, “The move will ensure that existing rules are streamlined and rationalised to make government more efficient and effective so that its benefits reach the ordinary man.

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