Guwahati– Royal Global University leading from the front during this ‘COVID-19 Times, has started a Webinar Speaker Series deliberating on 22 May 2020 from 10 AM to 12 PM on the topic ‘The new normal for Education sector post lockdown’. Prof. (Dr.) S.P.Singh, Vice Chancellor, Prof.A.K.Buragohain, Chairperson-Academic, Prof. (Dr.) Pradip Jyoti Mahanta, Dean-RSHSS , Ar. Gautam Sarma(Design Chair), Professor, Prof. (Dr.) Krishna Barua, Prof. (Dr.) Kushal Kumar Baruah, Dean-RSEES & RSLS, Prof. (Dr.) Amarendra Rajput, RSAPS, Royal Global University were the speakers which was moderated by Ms. Arpee Saikia, Asst.Professor of Royal School of Business. It was attended by more than 600 Vice Chancellors, Academicians, faculty, students and staff of different universities and schools from across India.
Prof.Singh started the deliberation during this unprecedented times the pandemic has made 1.3 billion students worldwide adjust to the fear of the disease which had every student indoors, away from their favourite classroom and play field.
In Indian context, he advocated how faculty had taken on the pandemic full on by teaching from home and completing the syllabus on time. Post lockdown are unknown times where University Grants Commission has laid guidelines to follow for examinations, admissions and conducting classes in hybrid modes.
SWAYAM, SWAYAMPRABHA and other such online modes of imparting classes are here to stay but the best modality confirming to social distancing and abiding by the health regulatory guidelines will be followed for compliance and safety.
He stressed, the transition of imparting digital education was a gradual process and RGU stands tall by conducting classes, webinars, online assessments for students, as he continually stressed, ‘Work for home and work from home’.
Prof. Buragohain emphasized that humanity has to learn to co-exist with the virus and retrospectively, it now seems that when UGC had asked all Higher Education institutions to be prepared with the robust SWAYAM platform by December 2019, it was propelling Higher Eduication to be prepared for any pandemic.
All libraries across India are connected under IIT-K, providing online study material for both faculty and student. He further stated that social institutions will forever be required as they instill values and virtues since ‘ Wheels of civilization roll out of institutions’. Apprehensions are galore preventing critical thinking but we have to embark upon research to find solutions.
Prof. K. K. Baruah opinied that technology driven education cannot replace brick and mortar education. Online and offline education is the new niche and students have to be taught to be psychologically fit to adapt to the new world order. Prof. K. Baruah cited the example of developed countries inculcating new HR policies of recruiting personnel based on their online and offline verbal and non-verbal communication.
Ar. Gautam Sarma stressed that post lockdown does not mean that the virus has gone away but learn to live with it until a vaccine is found. History is replete with survival tactics from wars, famines, natural calamities and human created dubiousness. Institutions can create a transparent barrier maintaining social distancing and sanitization for teaching.
Prof. Mahanta spoke on the yeoman’s job RGU is doing in bridging the gap by organizing webinars and classes and stressed that scientists and educationists must strategize education post COVID-19. Prof. Rajput shared his views on how crisis had created new inventions, new ideas and newer vistas but not despair. Remedies and alternatives have to be found so that all stakeholders benefit.
All speakers in the webinar fielded questions on examinations, job opportunities, practical classes and psychological issues. In conclusion, they opined that music, yoga, history, family time and an open mind to adapt oneself to changing situations will be the new normal. HR in recruiting candidates will definitely look for good communication skills, critical thinking, creativity, online & offline teaching and being elaborate in behaviour. This is also the time to pursue lateral thinking and discovering new habits for sustainability of life.