We continue to read news of countries, families and, several sectors reeling under the effect of the global pandemic. Education is one of the essential services that cannot be shut down indefinitely.

While gathering students in the campus is risky, keeping lessons on hold for too long can prove detrimental to the academic progress of students. 

How do educational institutions plan to continue to impart gyan to their pupils during the lockdown?  

While looking at the futility of resuming face-to-face classes in the immediate future, institutes have prepared modules via web-based platforms for teaching their lessons.  Many schools have begun their lessons online.

Schools and colleges also understand the perils of gathering students in their premises. They would rather not risk even a single positive case of the novel coronavirus. 

Following IIT Bombay and Delhi, now the top IIM Ahmedabad and Bangalore have decided to conduct sessions online. The first semester for the fresh batch and the new semester for the seniors will be conducted online in the country’s premier B schools. 

What about students without access to the internet? 

Both IIMs are cognizant of students with restrictive internet connectivity. Such students will be allowed to join as residents in the college hostel. They will access the institute’s internet to join the class. 

The B school will take all the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of the residents. The institutes will follow the one-week quarantine norms prescribed by the government before they can be admitted into the hostel. 

The administration of IIM A has been in touch with their students to identify the ones who will require this facility. They have made necessary arrangements to ensure the students’ safety by doing some groundwork in their infrastructure.  

How do they plan to proceed with the syllabus? 

As the start of the new session has already been delayed this year, the premier institutes will compensate by trimming down holidays and extending the conclusion of the session. 

As far as the assessments are concerned, IIM A has decided to play it by the ear. They would prefer to conduct appraisals when all the students can return to the campus but will take a call on this after two months, as the situation is not yet clear. 

IIM B, on the other hand, is prepared to sustain all its activities in the online mode.   

What are the plans of other IIMs? 

IIM Rohtak has already commenced its virtual lessons.

IIM Calcutta is in the process of working out the finer points of the upcoming session. 

IIM Lucknow is to begin its session by July third week. IIM Ranchi will commence classes at the beginning of next month; IIM Kashipur will begin later next month. IIM Bodh Gaya  and Jammu are slated to start classes later this month. 

We are yet to discern the enormity of the destructive ways of this novel coronavirus. Even the WHO is grappling with the virus to grasp its next path.

The pandemic may prolong for a year, two, or more, – this is anyone’s guess. Just like almost all organizations in every sector, the education industry needs to come to terms with the current scenario and plan on the lines of distance learning.

The way ahead for all teaching institutions will have to be video-based classes and webinars, which may be the new normal for a long time. Not only students but also teachers and curriculum designers will have to get used to this mode of lessons. The sooner everyone understands this the better.   

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Source: The Economic Times

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