Every adversity presents an opportunity; and for educators, it has proved that learning need not be confined to the classroom as teaching enters homes with virtual classes.
Industry veterans present their take on the future of learning.
Anvita Gupta– Principal, Candor International School, Bangalore believes that the present scenario has thrown a lot of challenges and also opened up many opportunities. In addition to the multiple physical changes in the school, the curriculum will need to be redesigned. Special attention will need to be on cyber safety. Technology and teachers will play a very important role in the new blended system. Social and emotional learning will be needed in order to help children transition from lockdown to normalcy.
Sonya Ghandy Mehta– Director, Pathways World School, Aravali added that every parent has the role of a teacher now. The scenario changes in a residential school where one has to be careful and know how to handle fear and also the many questions that keep coming their way. With UNESCO having estimated that close to 138 billion kids are out of school at this point of time, the future will definitely speak about Before Corona (BC) and After Corona (AC), just like we have historical references of Before Christ and After Death (BC-AD).
Rima Singh– Head of School, DPS International, Gurgaon pointed out that there is definitely a need to change the academic calendar and align it to the new normal. Teachers and students have to both upskill themselves on new technology. Once actual schools start, there are modifications that will need to be made like staggered occupancy, safety and health checks taken daily, reduction in class size, masks becoming a part of the uniform etc. From a long-term point of view, intelligent quotient alone will not be enough to determine success for students and greater emphasis will need to be laid on social and emotional skills.
Usha Lamba– Director, Prometheus School, Noida highlighted that now is the time to build and strengthen grit in kids. There are multiple learning experiences being created each day which this generation will need to learn and relearn. The key words for the future are – Betterment. New thoughts. Optimism. She emphasised that being at home can also facilitate experiential learning as we can assign projects to students that can keep them engaged within their house.
Dr. Venunadhan B Pillai– Principal, Bodhi International School, Jodhpur said that each and every one has got an opportunity to change a lot of old things in the Education system. It is time to rise and make the most of this opportunity. She also highlighted that going forward, classroom teaching will be supplemented with online classes and that students and teachers both will have to unlearn and relearn to adapt to the new ways of life.
Dr. Sharada Sharma– Director and DY. CEO, Dr. Pillai Global Academy, Borivali, Mumbai said that as we get ready for the future, there is a need to take action in order to reduce the impact of disaster, through mitigation and preparedness. Equally important is the role of planning and training or response and recovery. The role of a teacher is ever evolving to develop emotional and social quotient by using professional expertise in presenting material online.
It is evident that the times to come will present a different era for education. As we start to adapt to a new normal, blended learning will certainly be the way to go for students.