COVID online cartoon

COVID has destroyed our education system.

Academic standards are lower. Cheating is at an all-time high. And, according to the United States Census Bureau, COVID has added “layers of economic hardship” for students throughout the country, 

Even the necessary measures to fight the pandemic, such as wearing masks and social distancing, have had serious unintended consequences on classroom dynamics. While it is paramount that we fight the pandemic, at some point the costs of these measures outweigh their benefits, especially when students all rip off their masks the minute they leave the classrooms. 

Yet, students are kept in a limbo between pandemic and post-pandemic, and nowhere is this more obvious than the persistence of online classes.

This semester, I have some in-person courses and some online courses. As a result, I have to rent an apartment—in a city five hours away from my home—and commute to campus for only one or two classes. I’m not complaining, as I know other students have it much worse than me. But you can see how frustrating it is to move away from home just to keep taking Zoom classes.

Adjust my schedule to all online classes, and I can save a few thousand dollars by living with my parents in Houston. Adjust my schedule to all in-person, and at least I can get a normal education.

If I am going to pay the living costs associated with in-person classes, then I expect in-person classes. The quality of an online education is just not on par with that of an in-person education; as I explored in a previous article, grade inflation in the spring 2020 semester—when classes first transitioned online—caused GPA to jump 0.5 points.

Let’s not ignore this data and pretend that staying online is a good idea.

In some of my online classes, it feels as though we’re not having class at all. There have been times where the professor literally makes the Zoom meeting from her iPhone. One time, she got disconnected because her phone had run out of battery. 

I haven’t learned a single thing in that class, and I’m sure every student reading this has similar horror stories.

Clearly the university doesn’t care, or they would have done something by now. This is not the type of education we students signed up for when we pledged to LSU.

I love LSU, but some of the decisions the university has made during the pandemic have been ill-advised and ignorant. Online education was, and still is, a disaster. Let's not cripple our education any further.

Samuel Camacho is a 21-year-old economics junior from Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Load comments