In a matter of no time, the corridors have fallen silent, canteens lie abandoned, and no more sounds of laughter emanate from the grounds. The Covid-19 pandemic has left the colleges bereft of the presence of the students.
Even as the country battles the pandemic with a lockdown, educators have not forsaken their primary responsibility to the students which is a continuity in their education with the same exacting standards.
Overnight, educators have had to change track and adopt steps to keep the ball rolling.
Crucial academic time means a gap cannot be afforded
With the lockdown suspending classes at all schools, colleges and universities, the annual academic calendar has been hit hard, especially as the March-April period signifies the crucial tail end of an academic session and this is also the time for roll outs for the new session.
The end of a session generally involves a scramble to finish the course and dedicated studies for the exams. Therefore, no one can afford a gap in education at this time.
Here’s how colleges are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
1. Online virtual classes
Universities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have instantly turned to conducting virtual classes, online assignment submissions and teacher-student interactions.
Classes at schools, colleges and universities are now being conducted online.
The dynamics of a physical class are diametrically different from conducting virtual classes, but professors have pitched in enthusiastically and innovatively so that the challenges posed by the pandemic in continuous education can best be minimized.
Access to technology and faculty determination is contributing to the success of this redefined classroom setting which will make sure that students are able to adhere to their academic calendar without any interruption.
Industry veterans are also being engaged to interact virtually with the students to contemplate the effects of the lockdown on business and how the industry is gearing up to face life post Covid 19.
Admittedly, there is some degree of inconvenience in terms of all students having access to proper hardware, software and adequate internet connections; but this has also prompted new examples in educational innovation.
Although it is too early to judge how reactions to COVID-19 will affect education systems in the long term, but these experimental changes can bring a lasting impact on the trajectory of learning innovation and digitization.
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2. Safe admission processes conducted online
This is also a very crucial time for the admission processes for the next academic session. Some institutes have made their admission process 100% online.
To ensure the safety of prospective students, parents and their staff, these institutes have adopted a range of online virtual methodologies to facilitate the entire admission process.
They have categorized various sub-processes of the admission procedure and are implementing online solutions for each of this sub process.
HEIs are using webinars for sharing information on programs, video calls for one-to-one interactions, and virtual campus tours to showcase the campus life and facilities available.
Only e-applications are being accepted from candidates desirous of applying for these programs followed by virtual interviews. The results are declared online and the fees payment and other admission formalities are also completed online.
What students can do to utilise the lockdown time well
With less activities to distract them, students can put this Covid-19 lockdown period to good use. They should:
First and foremost, stay safe,
Attend the online classes regularly,
Finish any pending assignments,
Read and research as much as possible in their areas of interest and life post COVID 19,
Introspect on the direction they want for their life,
Keep a finger on the pulse of our country and the World from authentic sources.
The pandemic has demonstrated that quick responses to disasters and quick adoption of alternate solutions in trying times are important for continuity and resilience.
This is also a grave reminder to the education community that the skills the students most need in this unpredictable world are an ability to handle unexpected realities, making informed decisions, creative problem solving, and perhaps above all, adaptability.
To ensure those skills remain a priority for all students, resilience and adaptation must be built into our educational systems and educators and HEIs must lead the way with practical solutions.
Courtesy: India Today
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