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Sanjeev Agarwal

Covid19 Frontline Education Warrior: Sanjeev Agarwal, Chancellor, SAGE University

September 7, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in March 2020 and the subsequent shutdown of educational institutions has posed unprecedented challenges for stakeholders in the education sector. Viewing this crisis as an opportunity, leaders of progressive educational institutions have introduced innovative online teaching-learning solutions and engagement programmes while preparing students and faculty for the digital online world. 

Led by Sanjeev Agarwal (chief managing director, SAGE Group), the Indore based SAGE University has made a smooth transition to blended learning while pushing the bar to provide quality education during the last 16 months of institution closure. 

Committed to academic excellence and innovation and provision of best-in-class technology enabled infrastructure and entrepreneurship guidance, the management and faculty of SAGE University, Indore are determined to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic by adapting to new-age digital technologies driven teaching-learning. 

“Students were confused at the beginning of online classes as in the traditional education system, students used to learn in the classroom and perform hands-on lab practices. Students also missed the campus environment. However, after they got habituated to online learning, they enjoyed every innovative activity virtually. Students and parents also appreciated the additional value-added courses, SAGE talks, and expert talks. In addition, the group has built a greener, oxygen-rich environment for schools (SIS), colleges (SIRT), and universities (Sage University Bhopal, Indore) so that students will be welcomed back in a beautiful, safer environment,” says Agarwal.  

A true visionary Agarwal is also a successful entrepreneur, real estate tycoon, and a widely respected educationist. Having started his career as CMD with Agrawal Construction Co. in 1983, he ventured into the education domain in 2003 as chairman with Sagar Group of Institutions (SGI) and following SGI’s success, he became associated with the Sage University, Indore, Sage International School and Sage University, Bhopal as the Chancellor of both university. Presently, he is all set to venture into healthcare domain with the establishment of the MySage Hospital in January 2022.

Blended learning

Much like other educational institutions, SAGE University faced initial challenges when classes went online. However, determination to progress incessantly and rapid adaptation to new technology backed by innovative ideas set it apart even during the challenging times.

“Our faculty delivered the academic sessions through Google Meet and Google Classrooms in all verticals. In addition, they have also conducted music, dance, elocution, shloka recitation sessions for school students. Furthermore, the university organised Sage Summer School which offers value addition courses and other professional skills enhancement courses for school students. 

We have changed the adversity to opportunities and do amazing events virtually through various digital platforms like social media, websites, online sessions in collaboration with the national and international companies and experts,” says Agarwal. 

Community engagement

Under the banner of the True Sage Foundation, a CSR wing of the SAGE Group, various community support activities were carried out. Distributing food packets and hand sanitizers to the needy were among the outreach activities we organised. “In the lockdown situation, low-income families were the worst affectes and they could not even manage two meals for their family. Amid such challenging times, TSF had distributed food everyday to the needy,” Agarwal said. 

The institution also supported the state government’s Covid relief measures by housing a Covid 19 Test Center and Covid 19 vaccination centre at the Sage International School premises. Catering to the mental health needs of the community where issues such as anxiety and depression arose as repercussions of the pandemic, the university also arranged online counseling sessions. Parents and students were counseled on maintaining good physical and psychological health.

Financial support

The university has also offered scholarships to provide financial relief to students whose families have been worst affected by the pandemic. 

Also read: Upskilling graduates key to employability: SAGE Foundation Survey

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