By Dr S Ayyappan Nair, Academic Director, BGS National Public School, Bangalore.
Expert View

Contemporary Educational Challenges

By Dr S Ayyappan Nair, Academic Director, BGS National Public School, Bangalore.

Challenges during Pandemic:-

A tiny virus has shaken the whole world. Mighty human beings are rendered helpless by this pandemic. Most economic activities have come to a grinding halt. Educational institutions are closed in most parts of the globe.
The big unsettling question was, how to keep the teaching and learning process going.
Technology came to our rescue. Educators switched over to online mode of interaction. Adoption was amazingly quick as training was linked to survival. All stakeholders had to adapt to face the complexity of change, which is disruptive. The tough reality is, education will never remain the same. Post COVID e-learning will be a regular part of the curriculum transaction.
The second academic year is going to be impacted. There is no point waiting for normalcy to return or lament about the drawbacks of the online method. Any grudges in adopting digital methods will only see schools lose their students in favour of an institution that has innovated with technology. Yes there is a stark digital divide. The playing ground is never going to be level. In such a situation each school has to devise its own journey based on its individual strengths.

Some schools in interior of India or those catering to children from low income families may have to begin with procuring internet enabled device. Government should take care of their needs. Same way up-to-date training of the faculty members and students becomes mandatory. It is the unaided schools which will find it difficult to survive. Some State Governments have step motherly treatment towards private institutions and overnight announced reduction of fees. Many parents who lost their jobs or reduction in their pay package cannot pay the fees. Even parents who are capable of paying fees, hesitate to pay fees. School management has to beg for fees.  Many parents of junior classes have an excuse –“ our students haven’t come to school, why should we pay?”

n such a scenario Private School Management lack resources to pay the salary for teachers. This is going to have an adverse impact on the education sector.

21st Century Challenges:-

Implementation of NEP going to be another major challenge. This policy has brought out program suitable to 21st century. But changing the mind set of teachers who are supposed to execute will not be an easy task. Age old culture of getting good grades or marks and sending the students to coaching classes aiming IITs / Medicals is deep rooted among our parents. NEP is capable of erasing this culture in due course.

Challenges in attracting passionate brains in the field of education:-

The common approach of “Last resort is becoming a Teacher” has to change. Organisations like KVS, NVS etc have implemented 7th pay commission recommendations. It has helped to improve the status of teachers to some extent. But case in other sector is different. Service conditions are not conducive to attract best brains to this profession. It is high time that better service conditions to be implemented throughout. Indian Education Service (IES) like IAS should be created to train education administrators,

To sum up , challenges can be solved if government give top priority to Education.
Nelson Mandela is right –“Education is the powerful weapon by which we can change the world.”

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