Hybrid classes, a common practice in foreign education systems, are classrooms that consist of both students attending in person and students attending online. Last year, due to the pandemic, a change was inevitably forced upon teachers and students to adapt to online schooling. With the pandemic gradually dying out, the question remains whether the system was only a temporary solution, or a change that is here to stay.
“This shows what we are capable of doing when in dire need. Now that we are already familiar with the process, so why not blend it in with our current system? Technology would have become a part of this one day or the other, so why not now”, said Nasima Aziz, director of British Columbia School in Dhanmondi.
She further told Bangladesh Post that she is keen to adapt a system in her school that will have students in classes alongside on screens. It is not a system to be misused but to open a window for students who are unable to come to school for whatever reason. Students can sit at home and attend the classes they missed but with valid reasoning. Recorded classes would act as digital notes in order to help the students later on. Hybrid classes also allow students in remote areas, wherever there is internet, to study in better institutions.
Schools, colleges and universities are scheduled to reopen in the upcoming months. Although vaccination is up and running, the virus still remains a threat to the regular lifestyle. Education institutes are the latest to resume function, having been closed for almost over a year. For some parents it is a sigh of relief, but some are still skeptical about the decision for their children to mix with a crowd again with the virus still not in control.
Teachers share the mixed feelings, where some cannot wait to turn off the screens and return to the black or white boards, others enjoy their online setup and flexibility.
O and A Level instructor of a well-known coaching institute ‘Vertical Horizon’, Tawsif Alam Khan said, “I look at it as an opportunity for the students and for me as a teacher. Although it took some time, I have adapted myself to this online platform. Now with a screen setup, I can conduct my classes offline and online simultaneously. This expands my own market and gives the students, living far away, a chance to attend classes of good teachers of their choice that they did not have access to.”
It is true that very few schools and educational institutes can adopt and afford such technological advancements. However, the change was a desperate need last year but it has been in practice for many months now. Some schools and universities have already built a platform to support the online courses. Opportunities are likely to emerge from this change and it could be the start of a digital future for the educational scene in Bangladesh.