Various modes of informal and non-formal education have engulfed our society, such as newspapers, transmission of culture from parents to children, online, the post office.

However, this COVID era has proved that only the formal mode of education is taken as the true mode of education.

Most of the old people and even the young ones didn't take distance learning, that is, online learning as a good tool to learn. Many people take e-learning as a waste of time and money. It is also blamed as being a tool to ruin the children.

The debate over the impact and pros and cons of e-learning is ongoing. But majority of the parents take it as an extra burden on them.

In my opinion, this e-learning has more pros than cons.

Nothing is absolute in the universe, and so it is with online learning. Its pros are: most of the people are accustomed to the social media, and for them the social media app is synonymous with the internet. But e-learning makes people realise that there is a vast space other than social media in the internet.

And internet is not merely Facebook, Twitter and Tiktok.

Students now have an understanding about the leaning apps such as Zoom, MS Teams and the like. These tools will be useful throughout their lives even in the aftermath of COV- ID-19. Students' addiction to Facebook, Tiktok and Twitter has been heavily reduced due to the e-learning apps. This is also a positive sign.

Nowadays student use zoom, MS teams to discuss issues among friends rather than using the social app. The e-learning app helps students to study from home and anywhere in the world. Even from home, students can attend live online classes of any reputed university from around the globe. This not only saves time and money but also helps to increase the quality of education. But e-learning also has some disadvantages.

The main disadvantage of it is its inability to create a school-like environment while learning from home.

In school, students not only learn and read books but they also study about nature and culture close-up. They understand and engage in the process of socialisation, conflict, friendship, social harmony, academic and other competitions, struggles, respect for others, and imitate the good characters of teachers by observing them outside the classroom. This is the most positive part of physical teaching in a school setting, which the students lack when they are learning from home.

Even though students put on uniform, have all the books, gadgets and other necessary materials in home e-learning, they can't get the taste of learning in a school. It is because home is home, which can't literally be a school.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 18, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.