KOLKATA: Covid has hastened the digital scale-up in the education sector that will be beneficial in the long-term.
“Today, all over the world, people are talking about the modernity of tradition. In the post-pandemic age, it will provide flexibility to students and teachers. It allows students and teachers to access a broader database,” said Jadavpur University vice-chancellor Suranjan Das. Makaut vice-chancellor Saikat Maitra pointed out that there was no other option but to adopt technology.
St Xavier’s College principal Rev Dominic Savio said: “Our college chose a particular professional digital platform that was absolutely new and most teachers were completely unfamiliar with it. We could have gone with other online platforms that were easier to operate but it would have become a random and unstructural form with little or no control on the attendance, tests, exams or so on. We chose it as it provided us absolutely an alternative to the physical campus.”
JU VC Das has pointed out that higher education has experienced a paradigm shift based on the online teaching-learning system. He pointed out that most of the teachers and students had faced severe challenges — like digital divide, limited access, lack of electricity, gender discrimination for getting access for the online gadget — to adopt the new system of teaching and learning.
The educationists were speaking at an interactive session on ‘Education in Post-Covid World’, which was organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BNCCI). The session was designed to address certain issues that have emerged during the pandemic in the field of education and how the digital platform has become a parallel system of learning. It was seen that especially the middle-aged teachers who were mostly staying away from digital usage had learnt the changed pattern of teaching-learning for survival. According to the speakers, the pandemic has also bridged the digital gap between two broad sections (both among teachers as well as students) — those who are adept at handling gadgets and those who had so far very little idea about the digital mode.
BNCCI president Arpan Mitra said: “During the pandemic, the teaching-learning system shifted to the online mode and there was no physical interaction for two years. Our next generation will always miss their two years of school days that they lost during pandemic.”