This quote holds true in our current lockdown situation that has aroused due to Covid-19 pandemic. We are going through a very tough time. Our life style is changing. It has forced businesses across the world to suspend their operations and education sector is not an exception to it. Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The immediate priority for education sector is to look at how we can continue providing education to students during and post lockdown?
The Education sector has always been very rigid all these years in moving from physical to digital platform. However Universities are now adopting novel steps for online education aimed at helping students to enhance their knowledge and sharpen their skills. In online mode as well students have been very receptive and participative. This is a paradigm shift in teaching and learning process.
We at Bharati Vidyapeeth IMED (Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship Development) Pune have taken proactive steps to keep operating and carry on teaching, learning and evaluation by adopting various digital platforms in the lockdown period as we believe there is no lockdown to learn, unlearn and relearn.
Our talented faculty members have used IMED digital hub for up gradation of knowledge of its students. We have an e-learning portal that offers an interactive and effective communication between the teacher and students. The portal provides a repository for study material, presentations, previous examination question papers etc.
Our students are undertaking MOOCS from different platforms like Swayam, NPTEL, AICTE free E learning Courses etc. Video lectures of our faculty members for various courses are uploaded on Youtube. We organize and motivate our students to participate in various webinars, online courses, hackathons, quizzes, online competitions etc. They are made accessible to huge repository of learning resources like Pearson E-Library, National Digital Library, ePG Pathshala, e-Content, Swayamprabha etc. The assessment, evaluation and quantification of learning outcomes are carried out through Google Classrooms, Google Forms etc. Various Webinars and Faculty Development Programs are being organized for the enrichment of our faculty members. For smooth communication, coordination and administration platforms like Concall, WebEx , Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp groups etc. are being used.
This Covid-19 pandemic has badly affected world economy. It is truly now a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex with lot of Ambiguity) world .The focus of all organizations will be on survival for next 18 to 24 months. TCS has already announced that 75% of its employees will be working from home by 2022. Many will follow this trend. We the students, teachers and employees must adapt to this ever changing world.
Though at present we see a gloomy situation in India, the future is however is very promising if we tap the opportunities. The MNC‘s from different countries are looking up to India as a reliable market. Everything lost by China may come to INDIA. Not one or two but 1000 companies have reached out to India. They are engaged in discussions with Indian officials at various levels. Companies are pursuing to shift production plans to India. They belong to sectors like mobiles, electronics, medical devices, iron and steel etc creating job opportunities for the youngsters. As Sadguru rightly said Indian government should be well prepared to provide the required licenses, water, power and infrastructure to those companies.
The education sector is not an exception. The educational institutions will have to be innovative and go for blended learning and create required infrastructure with supporting skilled manpower. Indian universities will have tough competition with many reputed international universities trying to offer their courses online.
We have been proactively working towards the satisfaction of all stake holders with blended learning .The students in this lockdown period were offered many skill development courses so that those who got placed will be an asset to their organizations.
For digital transformation in higher education, a well designed and effective policy is needed to help students develop required skills and enhance their employability / entrepreneurial skills for the overall progress of India.