How does one cover the educational gap for class 12 and final year students due to the pandemic disruption?

The COVID 19 pandemic is going to change the dynamics of how education is imparted through the schooling system. In the present scenario, the conventional process of teaching students through classroom teaching is no longer feasible, since, under no condition, a nation can afford to jeopardize the lives of its youth, a nation’s most valued resource, by allowing congregation in such system of classroom teaching. On the brighter side, this situation has paved way to revamp the educational set-up that has been long over-due. A radical reconstruction of the educational system should now entail conceptual exercises that don’t require rote memorization and lay more stress on pragmatic understanding, exercises and easy translation for developing life-skills. It is also high time that norm-referenced paper-pencil tests make way for non-judicious memory-based answering system. 

Class 12 and final year students can be evaluated online, and on that basis, they can start with module courses of their interest, and diplomas being awarded for those courses. This is also the right time to introduce examination systems that require students to submit research-based assignments, solving insightful and analytical problems. The art of open book assignments would also challenge the faculties to broaden their horizons and will lead to more productive and interactive teaching and learning process. It will be a mutual story of growth and understanding. 

An interactive teaching process also involves the active role of both students and faculties. Not just the teachers, the students might also pitch in with suggestions of valuable online teaching tools, tutorial videos and other e-resources for holistic learning techniques. This time may also be utilized to hone communication skills, enriching vocabulary, learning new and foreign languages and working on other soft-skills that will help students in the long run. During conference calls and e-classrooms, visualization (through apt tools) will be pivotal and it will allow students to understand concepts even better as compared to the conventional techniques.  

After the institutions reopen under health risk-free conditions, based on these empirical evaluations, students may be counseled and guided to take up courses that coincide perfectly with their natural abilities. Einstein had once said “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This is the perfect and most opportune moment to channelize the potential of our youth in the most systematic and feasible manner by revamping the educational set-up.

Dr. Maumita Sengupta
Head, School of Education,
Techno India Group, SaltLake.

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