While online classes have become the norm for some amid the COVID-19 pandemic, academics from Japan and Hong Kong believe that online classes cannot truly be a substitute for face-to-face learning despite the merits of technology in communicating with students.

"Learning does not take place in the classroom, it happens outside the classroom, on campus where students can interact," among themselves and with teachers, Oussouby Sacko, president of Kyoto Seika University, said during a recent webinar.

The webinar on the future of education was organized by the Awaji Youth Federation, an educational group in Japan, as the academic world faces the challenges posed by online learning.