‘Apps Banned, How Do I Access Curriculum of My Uni in China?’

Most of our study material was uploaded by the teachers on WeChat.

Updated24 Jul 2020, 11:29 AM IST
My Report
2 min read

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati

My name is Aghnibha Mukherjee and I’m studying medicine at Kunming Medical College in China. I had returned to my hometown of Kolkata in January after finishing my semester. At the time, I didn’t think I’d be spending most of the year back home, learning and studying online.

I'd like to share with you the issues that we as international students of medicine are facing right now in the face of this major pandemic. As we all know, after the India-China standoff at Galwan Valley, the Indian government had passed rules and regulations that banned the use of certain Chinese apps. Unfortunately, WeChat was one of the apps mentioned in this list.

The app was used by students to communicate and correspond with university authorities. But after the ban, it became difficult to get our study material online or correspond with our professors regarding doubts. Most of our study material was uploaded by teachers on WeChat.

After the announcement was made, the app started to work extremely slowly and in certain regions, it even stopped working at all. Students, including me, have missed many deadlines owing to server and network issues.

This has been a huge detriment to our education and makes it difficult for us to cope with the curriculum.

A lot of students in my peer group have been afraid of the rising tensions between India and China. I have asked the university authorities about this issue and they have mentioned that we do not need to be afraid and no such discrimination will occur once we return to resume our courses in the next semester.

Barriers in Online Learning

Online education presents a lot of difficulties in general. Regarding the subjects of medicine, it doesn't feel like we are getting holistic education in all of them because the practical classes are not being conducted properly in online learning courses.

Certain subjects like pathology, microbiology, require usage of equipment and interaction with the teacher so that students have a better insight into what we exactly study and understand from the lectures in the books.

Practical knowledge gives us a comprehensive understanding of what we need to know as a doctor. But based on the current situation, I really doubt we will be going back anytime soon. We might have to stay back for an extra few months and it seems that most likely the new semester will also comprise an online learning course.

Because of the circumstances, a lot of people are getting anxious, but I personally do not intend to withdraw or drop out from the university. I am trying to stay hopeful and I hope everyone facing the same circumstances does so too.

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Published: 24 Jul 2020, 08:52 AM IST
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