If I want to run online workshops in my free time, what is the set of tools to get started with?
There are several tools available that you can access even at no cost or requiring very little investment. Choosing a tool depends on the purpose - You can use meeting tools like Zoom, WebEx , JioMeet and similar tools when you are looking to deliver live content. On the other hand, there are also online MOOC platforms like Udemy, Coursera, etc. where you can develop courses in more detail involving elements like pre-reads, post course evaluation and more.
Can vocational classes like stitching, home science etc. also be brought online? Wouldn't we miss the face to face element?
Some parts of any learning experience are of course best absorbed face to face. Having said that, in the current scenario, our most important priority is to stay safe and therefore, avoid any situation where we may be exposed to crowds and a college classroom would definitely carry that risk. There are many elements we could identify that can go online so we need to do whatever parts are possible online and get creative about the other parts. Additionally, online program will keep improving incrementally until we learn how it can be delivered as close to the face to face experience as possible.
I am a final year student and the poor job prospects are making me very anxious and stressed. Can you suggest how I can manage this difficult time?
1. Create a structureCreating a schedule and a pointed direction for your job search can help add a sense of control to your life, keeping you positive and motivated. For example, you might set aside one hour each morning specifically to work on updating your resume or set a goal to attend three networking events per month.2. Stay OrganizedBreaking down the job search into smaller, more manageable tasks can help the big, daunting process seem less overwhelming and more within your control. (If you’re looking for a way to keep track of everything, try this job search spreadsheet.)3. Take a BreakLining up as many interviews as you can fit into a short period of time may seem like the best strategy to land a role quickly, but when you’re feeling unmotivated and burnt out, it is important to pace yourself.4. Seek out Emotional SupportThe job search can stir up challenging emotions, fears, and limiting beliefs that can keep you up at night. If you bottle up those reactions, you’ll perpetuate the production of stress hormones in your entire body, which will continue to bring you down. Reach out to family, friends. There are also many counselling helplines that are doing a really good job to help students and young professionals navigate these times.5. Know Your TriggersWhat situations make you feel the most overwhelmed or trigger stress? Identify them and work to get past them. For example, maybe you are sent into a spin of uncertainty when you don’t hear back right away after an interview. The longer you experience the silence, the less motivation you have to continue your search. Once you start acknowledging these triggers, you become more aware and as a next step you can address them by seeking advice or reading up on how you can make the triggers go away.
Will schools reopen for classroom teaching?
When and how to reopen schools is one of the toughest and most sensitive decisions on political agendas today. There are a lot of things to consider: Is it safe to reopen schools or is there a risk of reigniting infections? Is remote learning effective? What are the consequences to children’s mental health and to the social development of young children? When the time comes, how will schools help the learners who have fallen behind during school closures?The Home Ministry of India has clarified that no decision has been taken yet on opening of education institution. Classes will continue online and a final decision in this regard will only be taken after assessing the prevailing conditions.
How long will online teaching continue for schools?
Online education could continue quite long. This is primarily because:1. More focus will be on the safety of children returning to crowded spaces2. Not wanting to disrupt an already set routine in between an academic year.Schools may focus on helping children transition between the fully online mode of education and back to the classrooms. There needs to be supportive structures in place to help students going through this.Having said that, education may never be the same again. For these students, where technology has become so common, it is even an extension of themselves. Students could be more inclined to learning online. Schools might have to prepare themselves to provide for their students demanding a return to the online classroom.
With layoffs, slashed salaries and financial setbacks in business, how will parents find the means to pay school fees?
Parents may request schools to not force them to pay the fees on the stipulated dates and ask for an extension for the payment of fees while our economy gets back on track. The ideal policy would be 3-fold. Where the government supports schools by a stimulus package, schools could extend this to parents by waiving a percentage of the fees, extending dates and creating a subsidized monthly payment scheme. Parents will need to reduce as much overhead cost as possible and keep as much cash in their bank accounts as possible.Many banks also offer education loans and loans to pay for acquiring laptops.
Will the online classes/coaching in the short-term really benefit the children?
We are almost being ‘forced’ into a time when learning online is becoming a necessity. We should see this as an opportunity and not a challenge.In the present times, learning subjects from various angles/ perspectives is very important. The best place to do that would be on the internet. Not only can the children read about various concepts online, they can get better insights with the help of videos, tutorials etc.Students are being encouraged to explore the internet to find solutions to problems and we should see this habit as an important one for the long term. We should take this opportunity to encourage our children to sustain such a learning spirit and focus them towards reading and developing depth as well.
I am unable to afford a laptop or pay for separate online learning modules? Do I have any options to still use online content?
There are multiple options that can be accessed through the phone as well. Youtube is an excellent place to start with free courses across almost every domain. There are other websites that are giving free trial courses like Skillshare, Coursera, FreecodeCamp, Classcentral and Codeacademy are some of the few that are giving free courses online.Laptops may also be purchased by financing it through a loan.
Are there any plans underway to allow Covid-19 patients to access private hospitals using a government insurance scheme?
There is no specific plan that will guarantee access to all private hospitals with a government health insurance scheme. However, the largest Government Health Insurance Scheme, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) offers coverage from 5 lakhs across select private hospitals. Apart from this there are many state-sponsored health schemes that offer access to private hospitals -- the list of private hospitals and the amount of coverage however will vary with each scheme.For more details, it is best to visit the website of the health insurance scheme enrolled in or call the centre/agent through which the enrolment was done.
In future for life insurance will COVID be a health rider?
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has not yet introduced any policies under life insurance for Covid. Taking cue from the increasing panic amongst the people and rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, all health insurers in India have started covering treatment for coronavirus under the regular health insurance policy. However, as per the directions of the IRDAI, insurers have introduced Coronavirus-specific health insurance products that provide dedicated coverage against the deadly virus.Such plans are an excellent way to compensate for loss of income during the treatment of the illness as the policyholder is paid the entire sum insured as a lump sum in case of testing positive for coronavirus. However, one must only buy these plans as a rider along with the regular indemnity based health plans that provide comprehensive coverage against all illnesses and ailments up to the total sum insured.
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