The pandemic has shattered the dreams of every individual. It has been over 15 months that students in India have not visited the schools. Online teaching and virtual classes have been the only silver lining amidst the clouds. Although the academics have been running, there are several challenges which schools, children and their parents face daily. Edu Start and EducationWorld in association with Fliplearn organised a webinar on July 3, 2021 titled K-12 Education Revival Roadmap-ASSAM to discuss the highs and lows of “Digital Education”.
The webinar comprised three panel discussions titled Future Ready School Management Best Practices, Highs and Lows of Online Education, Resilience, Reorientation and Revival.
The keynote address was given out by B. Kalyan Chakravarthy, principal secretary, department of education, Assam; who spoke about redesigning the digital mode of education with emphasis on children with special needs. The principal secretary also spoke about bringing Assam being blessed with resources and all that is required is implementing innovation and technology to utisilse and implement these at the earliest.
The first panel discussion comprised premier educators like Sailesh Sarmah, director, ABC Academy, Tinsukia; Jonali Das, principal, Modern High School, Guwahati; Captain A. Muthuraman, principal, Sainik School, Goalpara; Dr. Nripen Kumar Dutta, founder and principal, Miles Bronson Residential School, Guwahati and was moderated by Summiya Yasmeen, managing editor, EducationWorld & ParentsWorld.
Focusing on the unprecedented pan-global economic crisis set in motion by the pandemic, Sailesh Sarmah said, “We do not know what more is left for us to witness. Just when we thought that the pandemic is over and we had put the worst behind us, in came the second wave wreaking havoc on all our financial commitments and plans. We were forced to take up huge amounts of loans to ensure that the teachers continued to receive their salaries trapping us in the deadly debt trap. Hence, we have decided that we will only carry on with the basic necessities without spending an extra ounce on developmental activities. The government has also come down very heavily on us. Our buses have also been lying idle since March 2020. But we had to pay the road tax.”
Online classes on virtual platforms can never be a substitute for physical classrooms and there is a huge challenge involved to motivate both teachers and students. One needs to ensure a good mental state during the classes. “We have undertaken several workshops and trained teachers on tools like Canva, Pixlette, etc to help them explain the students with proper visuals. These modern tools ensure that students do not get bored during the lectures and their concentration is also there,” said Captain A. Muthuraman.
Jonali Das said, “The involvement of parents is also important as they play a pivotal role to ensure uninterrupted service of basic amenities like internet, proper hardware, etc. It is also important to form a symbiont relation between the parents, teachers, and children. Creative thinking should be praised and nurtured for better results.”
Speaking on motivating children, Sailesh further added that videos would surely help nurture better results just like learning Japanese from Japanese Cartoon characters as such creativity and variation in teaching will ensure that the children retain their concentration.
The next discussion threw light on Highs and Lows of Online Education. The panelists comprised of noted educationists like Anubha Goyal, principal, Royal Global School; Nellie Ahmed Tanweer, founder, Maria Public School, Guwahati; Pankaj Upadhyaya, chairman, Trinity Academy Silapathar, Dhemaji; Vidhukesh Vimal, headmaster, The Assam Valley School; N. Hazel Singh, administrator, Emmanuel English Higher Secondary School, Pailapool. Divya Lal, founder and MD, Fliplearn moderated the session.
“The most important factor that online education misses is the connect. Learning is not just teacher giving lectures and notes but also about body language and expressions. Hence, we have made it a mandate to all students to keep their videos on so that at least the teachers can connect to some length, if not completely, as he or she visualise them in front of the eyes,” said Anubha Goyal, principal, Royal Global School.
Commenting on the same lines Divya Lal added that techniques such as going to school to play and attending online sessions for lectures could be one of the techniques as this will ensure that an emotional connect between teachers and other fellow students is established.
Focussing on soft skills and moderating in a Radio Jockey Style too helps to develop oneself and get away with the boredom and mundaneness of online classes, said Vidhukesh Vimal.
The third panellists comprised Firoz Waheed, principal, Brookfield School, North Lakhimpur; Shahnaz Ahmed, founder, Springdale High School, Jorhat and Subramanya Kumar Sripada, principal, DPS, Dullajan. Sapna Sukul moderated the session.
The discussion further moved on to teacher training techniques and then ended with a vision to collaborate all small and big schools of Assam to work on projects together where the state can glorify itself as a huge family.
To view the whole webinar, please clickMagazine, News, States