COVID-19 Pandemic and the conditions of students in Manipur

The COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be a constructive disruptor, giving an opportunity for restructuring the conventional, classroom based education system.


(PHOTO: IFP)

 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. The first case of the COVID-19 pandemic in India was reported on 30th Jan, 2020 originating from China. Slowly, the pandemic spread to various states and union territories including the states of Manipur. The first case of COVID-19 was recorded in our state Manipur on March 24, 2020. Due to the second wave of COVID-19 now in Manipur the situation has worsened day by day. Till now positive cases have increased to about 1.2 Lakh. Almost all have recovered. The death toll has reached around 2000. The Manipur government has taken up many steps to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown has been imposed in many regions of Manipur and other many steps also have been taken up.

What is COVID-19 pandemic? How does it spread in Manipur? 

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. 'CO' stands for corona, 'VI' for virus, 'D' for disease.Formerly, this disease was referred to as '2019 novel coronavirus' or '2019-nCoV'.  The WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January, 2020, and a pandemic in March 11, 2020. It is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.

The first case of the COVID-19 Pandemic in India was reported on January, 2020, originating from China. Slowly the pandemic spread to various states and union territories including the state of Manipur. The first case was recorded in Manipur on March 24, 2020. The person who tested positive was the only 23 year old girl after returning from the UK on March 23, 2020.

After that the positive cases have been increasing very rapidly in Manipur. The COVID-19 second Wave is more dangerous nowadays than the 1st Wave. It spreads among people through droplets from coughs, sneezes, or breathing. The droplets may land on another person on an item such as a door handle. If someone else touches the handle, the virus may pass on to them if they touch their mouth, nose, or eyes. The case has become more worse day by day due to the carelessness of the people of Manipur also. They don't obey the guidelines of GoM properly. In most cases using the face masks, hand sanitiser and not maintaining the social distance, the positive cases has been rapidly increasing in Manipur.

How does it affect the people?

Coronavirus can cause a wide range of illnesses, including the common cold and COVID-19. These typically affect the respiratory system, but they can affect other systems, like the nose and lungs also. Coronaviruses are present in many species, including camels and bats. Some of these viruses can infect humans, and some of the illnesses that they cause can be deadly.

A person might have a higher risk of developing severe symptoms if they are older, have a weakened immune system, or have another health condition. In humans, coronaviruses can cause the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). A Coronavirus also causes coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). This illness results from an infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This virus is responsible for an ongoing pandemic.

How are the responses by the government and others to the pandemic

The Manipur government has taken up many important guidelines in fighting against the COVID-19. In the first phase of COVID-19 government has put a lockdown in all the districts of Manipur. In 2nd phase, almost all of the districts have been locked down. Many centres have been allotted as the COVID Care Centre. Not only in the hospital for Central and State, District Hospital, PHC, etc. many centres have developed for COVID Care in school also. Government has given the food in all the families of Manipur.

Mainly it provide the food in free of cost to the poor. The Government of Manipur is very much worried because of the people of Manipur.

To channelise all the needy steps in fighting against COVID-19, the government has needed a lot of money. The Government of Manipur has opened the Chief Minister Relief Fund. Many people have also donated money to this Relief Fund. Not only in money whatever people can do, they do it to fight COVID-19. Almost all of the people of Manipur have followed the guidelines of Manipur. Some of the people were not aware and followed the guidelines properly. Social gathering is the main way to raise the case of COVID-19. But sometimes our loving Manipuris used to forget these ideas. Thereby they gathered in the roads, shops, hotel, park, etc.

All the institutions i.e. school, colleges and universities have been closed. There has been strict ban on vehicular movement. The three Ima Keithels, its adjoining markets and the local markets at Khurai Lamlong, Andro Parking, Lambulane, Kongba, Pishum Thong, Kwakeithel, Nagamapal, Singjamei Bazaar, Wahengbam Leikai and other major markets in other districts shall remain closed. The opening of the grocery shops also has been put in rotational basis.

How does it affect the students in Manipur

During this coronavirus pandemic, there are both advantages and disadvantages for students.

Advantages:

There are no significant advantages because there is a huge loss in jobs, lives, and the economy of the country. But speaking about the students there are some advantages. The students can use their quality time in studying and the other activities in which they are interested. It is the best time to spend with grandparents, cousins, mother, father and other relatives as there is ample of time to spend. It gives the best time to plan for the future with parents. It gives more time for self study also since we have done only for 4 to 5 hours for online classes. Before the pandemic we had done the classes for more than 7 hours.

Disadvantages

There are significant disadvantages because there is a huge loss in jobs, lives, and the economy of the country. For online classes, the adoption rate is around 50 - 60% whereas in the classroom the adoption rate was around 80 - 90%. The online classes affect the eyes of the students due to long hours in front of the blue screen. Lots of poor students do not have access to laptops and computers ; all these students are naive, think there shouldn't be this disperate education. Surely there are lots of disadvantageous factors like there are no exams; students are being given marks by the internals. This may impact their career in the future. These factors are going to be a foreshadow to the child further life.

What needs to be done by and for students 

As the COVID-19 cases have increased widely in our state we face many problems. Students couldn't go to school, colleges, and universities. They are attending online classes. They have more time to stay at home. So that they don't need to waste time. Instead of that they need to focus on self  study. They should help their parent's work at home. They can take online competitions for various subjects since offline exams have not been done. They can relax their mind by watching useful movies. The teacher can organize online classes for the betterment of students. Even the state government needs to be done online competition for their respective classes. Parents also get ample of time at home since they do not go to the office, institutions, etc. At that time they can mould their words very sincerely. The parents and teachers need to help the students on how to use technology wisely at this pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be a constructive disruptor, giving an opportunity for restructuring the conventional, classroom based education system. The quick transitions to online mode assisted in keeping continuity of optometry education programs, effectively fitting in with the purpose of completion of the current academic year. The rapid transition to online education has not only benefited optometry students but also has created a momentum of continued education for practicing optometrists in the state. The students need to follow the guidelines of the Government of Manipur also. They need to maintain social distance and to wear masks. The hand sanitizer should be used regularly which makes the germs dead. The students have got ample time to discuss the  future prospects with the family. Last but not the least, students during this pandemic have to perform modestly better in online conditions, on average, than those learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction.

 

 

 

First Published:Nov. 17, 2021, 2:13 p.m.

Leave a comment