Dr. A.K. Pansari
Founder-chairman, Royal Group of Institutions, Guwahati
An alumnus of Gauhati University and chartered accountant, Dr. A.K. Pansari is founder-chairman of the Royal Group of Institutions (RGI, estb.2009) comprising the CBSE-affiliated day-cum-boarding Royal Global School (RGS) and Royal Global University (RGU) which have an aggregate 5000 students mentored by 302 teachers on their muster rolls.
RGI Covid-19 response.
Without wasting time, the Royal Group of Institutions has made a swift transition to digital teaching-learning with our teachers and students quickly adapting to new online platforms and pedagogies. Therefore, not only is learning being delivered online, we have also interviewed prospective new students, completed the admission process virtually and conducted online parent teacher and staff meetings.
Major challenges confronting Indian K-12 education in the Covid era.
The technology barrier is the major challenge confronting K-12 schools in the Covid era. Unfortunately, the great majority of students don’t have access to digital gadgets and reliable Internet connectivity. This has severely affected delivery of acceptable quality online learning, as classes often, have to be cancelled or stopped mid-way because of low bandwidth. Another challenge is adapting online learning for children in early childhood education.
On fees waiver/deferment circulars by state governments to private school managements.
The guidelines related to fees payment issued by state governments are fair to parents as well as private schools. Most schools have abided by these circulars and have waived some amount of fees. In our case Royal Global School has strictly followed the fee waiver order of the Assam state government.
Top 3 proposals for reforming K-12 education in India.
First, once schools reopen there’s urgent need to blend conventional classroom with online learning. The lockdown period has shown that online learning can supplement face-to-face teaching. Second, school curriculums should promote projects-based learning rather than rote, and incorporate skill-based subjects. Finally, the focus of education should be on developing happy, rather than merely intelligent children.
We have drawn up a blueprint to promote the first international curriculum school in northeast India. Second, we are working on introducing paperless education in RGS and RGU. Moreover, we intend to establish sport academies to nurture and develop the abundant sports and games talent available in northeast India.