People are opting for online skill development courses in Kerala at a time when COVID-19 lockdown is in place. Photo/ANI
People are opting for online skill development courses in Kerala at a time when COVID-19 lockdown is in place. Photo/ANI

COVID-19: People beat lockdown blues with online skill development courses

ANI | Updated: Apr 05, 2020 08:54 IST

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], April 5 (ANI): In search of ways to engage themselves while they are forced to spend time inside their homes due to the COVID-19 lockdown, people are tapping into the internet where a vast variety of free online courses are being offered to hone their talents and also possibly to pick up a new skill-set.
Babitha Marina Justin, an academician, did not think twice before starting an online creative writing course when one of her students prompted her.
"When I put a Facebook post asking for takers, the response was tremendous. Due to the lockdown, all of us are staying at home. Nature has given us an opportunity to look into ourselves. A lot of people say they are bored and cutting jokes about it. But many are also exploring their hobbies and creative energy within them. So I thought it is the right moment. I have taken 20 students in my first batch," said Babitha, who is a poet and an artist.

Various online skill development courses are available, from 'English Meditation' for creative writing to E-Book production for housewives, helping children develop their designing talents to violin lessons online - more people are coming out to lend their support to fellow beings to realize their inherent creative potential.
If 'English Meditation' to improve language skills is one of the highlights of one online course, in another online course of online E-book production started by Ram Kamal the beneficiaries, in the long run, are thousands of people with a print disability.
"The lockdown period is the best time for many to learn e-book production and the course is three days long, spending two hours every day with assignments. In every session, we accommodate 30 people and there can be more than one session in a day if the enrolment is good," said Ram Kamal, managing trustee of Chakshumathi, an NGO that works among people with a print disability.
"In most Indian languages, e-publication is at a nascent stage. We have very few books properly produced in Indian languages. About 10 percent of the population anywhere in the world are print disabled due to many reasons, be it blindness, low vision, dyslexia or old age barriers. The e-books produced will be a boon to them with several automated reading software readily available now," added Ram Kamal, who has tied up with US-based Bookshare International with an online library with over 8.25 lakhs e-books for its readers.
Another Kerala based group, Out of the Box (OFB), has started a weeklong free online workshop for school students in India to stay engaged during the COVID-19 lockdown and learn the scientific side of thinking skills and on how to train their thoughts. The course titled 'Imagination to image' which started this week has become an instant hit in the students' community. (ANI)