The policy Times in collaboration with UPES, Dehradun, one of India’s premium multi-disciplinary higher education institutes organized one of its kind Education Web-Series on 15 February 2021 on “Blended Learning Vs Teacher-Student Relationship”& “Skilling And Entrepreneurship Post-Covid” between India and our neighbor country Nepal. Nepal and India, two countries with a shared cultural context have a lot of possibilities in academic exchange as well. The bearing of cultural context on the knowledge imparting method is undisputed. The global pandemic brought a sea of change in the ways of the world but the fact that it also opened a new door with gleaming arrays of possibilities is accepted without question. Education was also not immune to the tide of change.
Covid-19 expedited technology saturation in every curve of our daily lives with far better persuasion and widespread reach that only mere human intervention could not have achieved. South Asia is emerging as a hub of global activities and becoming a participative not only receptive unit in a global scenario. Power of collaboration among the countries will be an enabler of a new advanced South Asia. Modern education is no doubt builds the groundwork for illustrious but not impossible ambition as the world can already see the potential of such possibilities looming on the horizon. The academic scenario is painted in a new reality with digital saturation. The goal of education is the holistic development of pupils and teachers to pave the way for their pupil’s desirable change. So a holistic and timely development of teacher and teaching methodology was much needed at present. New age-blended pedagogy has unearthed new possibilities in education. As we slowly overcome the pandemic it is imperative that we leverage this massive digital technology disruption to meander in our lives ahead and experts of the two countries shared best practices for digital academic exchange.
Mr. N. Senthil Kumar, Senior Director, Business Development & International Sales UPES-Dehradun laid the context of changing world to reshape our education framework in our post covid fresh approach “World is changing at an unprecedented space and we have seen the emerging market and South Asia is going to be key destination worldwide for several decades. In a world where the major developed countries will be riddled with a challenging problem of aging only South Asia could prove to be the world’s work engine as the region has a huge young population” and it is of paramount importance that the young population is trained to match the global standard. Collaboration in major aspects like education amongst the regional countries will bring a new edge to South Asia as a global hub of activities.
Mr. Kumar, “pledged the active commitment of UPES to build a seamless cross-border digital academic exchange between the two countries” as ‘technology will shape the future of modern education. The world is integrating into multiple aspects in collaborative work structure regardless of geographical limitations as is the norm in the new reality of the post covid digital world or much persuasive blended (digital and physical )world. Covid has undoubtedly battered the education system around the world but simultaneously it has brought a chance to reshape our education system according to the need of the time. The need of the hour is learning from the change brought by the pandemic and adapting, realigning, inventing methodology on creative and technological frontiers, and saturate the findings in everyday education practice from teaching, learning to the demonstration. The emerging trends in education are reskilling, upskilling, unlearning and we need to look at these trends through the lens of everyday practice. Standard teaching methods will be obsolete in the post covid blended reality so pedagogy reinvention suited to the time should be the focal point of education providers. Integration of Storytelling, sports in standard pedagogy could be a possible solution to bring creative pedagogy into digital education or blended education.
Mr. Prajwal Shrestha, Academic Research Leader, The British Collegeemphasized solving one of the key areas of a challenge brought by digital education by exploring new innovative avenues to bring engagement and active participation which was stunted in digital pedagogy.
Mrs. Rashmi Sharma, Executive Director, Kathmandu Don Bosco Kathmandu pointed at the limitation of physical space was erased by the digital medium it brought a lot of pedagogical expertise on board which was previously unthinkable in the physical only teaching environment. Collaboration to share pedagogical expertise along with joint programming and resource sharing between two countries could bring a new edge to the age-old academic exchange. Blended pedagogy brought a lot of flexibility in the negative aspects of the physical teaching environment like a class schedule, learning model customized to the need of students, and enhanced pedagogy to more time-oriented.
Mr. Kumar Thapa, Principal, Brihaspati Vidyasadan School emphasized on social-emotional learning to be of key importance in a scenario where education no longer physical only and extra input of teacher’s in students lives along with parent involvement. Mr. Anand Bahadur Chand, Director, Boston International College is of the opinion that digital medium reduced the hurdle of resource in academic exchange and joint knowledge sharing between teachers, entrepreneurship boot camp, joint skill labs, and collaboration to reduce entrepreneurship challenges and innovative entrepreneurship ventures could influence better bond between the two countries.
Mr. Sharad Neupaen, Kathmandu School of Management implores pedagogy suited to creating values in pupils that the globe desires them to add to society. Ms. Neera Pradhan, Chandbag School shared balanced incorporation of spiritual and emotional quotient along with intellectual input in the new educational scenario is important. Gopal Dutta, Vice Principal, Millsberry International School suggested post –covid pedagogy to encourage experimental learning and collaboration and cooperation from the school eco-system. Decentralizing or localizing skill development in everyday life could integrate skill development effectively in students’ life. Dr. Dilip Kumar Jha, Professor, University of Agriculture&Forestry added in conclusion that coordination and active participation from the two neighboring nations influencing better collaboration between two countries.
UPES is an 18-year-old university and scenic Avalon in the Himalayan foothill and an exemplary academic institution with the accreditation of India’s highest statutory bodies like UGC, NAAC to international bodies like QS. This ‘University With A Purpose’ equips their students with 150 multi-disciplinary courses in key areas like energy, petroleum, aerospace, etc.