The Covid-19 pandemic has not spared any sector across the globe and education was one to the sectors to be majorly hit. Experts who participated in a webinar recently had three things to flag at a time when education is going through a ‘learning process’: The time for disruption has come; teachers, not technology, should be the heart and soul of teaching and thirdly, teachers should connect with the child and not with books.
The webinar was organised by Pearson’s Teacher Education and Leadership Academy and Access-School, an ed-tech start-up launching India’s 1st Hybrid-Flexible Learning Ecosystem and was divided into a 2-part online event series from September 28 to October 2.
Dr G. Balasubramanian, former Director (Academics), CBSE, said: “Education in India has been waiting for disruption for a long time. While the industrial revolution scaled to 4.0 generation, the education sector largely remained at 2.0. This long-overdue disruption received impetus from the new NEP 2020; naysayers have accepted the reality and value of technology in education during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He went on to say that “The very definition of schools is likely to change. Access-School is a kind of school which I am looking forward to in the future”.
Ms Seshni Naicker, Director, Teacher Education and Learning Academy, emphasized that irrespective of technology and acquisition of digital skills, teachers would always be the heart and soul of teaching. These essentials skills of empathy, cooperation, confidence, growth which are the skills of the future would come from the teachers as models.
Teachers would need to provide literacy and numeracy curriculum knowledge on the one hand and develop skills, attitudes and values on the other hand, to enable students to become global citizens, she said.
Ms Manju Gupta, Principal, Kothari International School said, “A change in mindset and attitude of a teacher is a must, and a necessity in order to stay relevant to the needs of the students. Human education must be more emphasised in today’s schools. We need to remember that education is for the growth and development of a learner, not for competition. I look forward to a tomorrow where the teacher connects with the child and not the book.”
Day 1 commenced with a webinar and panel discussion on the topic ‘Expanding the Teacher’s horizon: The Future for Educators’. Days 2 and 3 focussed on developing teachers’ skills in teaching online through two professional teacher training sessions with an international trainer. More than 200 school educators, leaders, teachers and trainers took part in the event.
The webinar delved in detail on the present challenges and opportunities for educators as well as on future skills required to stay relevant; trends and changes that are taking place globally in the education industry; and the new landscape for schools and teachers.
Amit Mathur Co-Founder, Access-School set the tone for the future with these insights. “Basis the pan India survey we conducted last year, three critical areas in the Indian Education System that require focus are Accessibility, Adaptability and Flexibility. We at Access-School leverage technology to cater to these 3 areas and create a HyFlex school which offers blended learning opportunities for students,” she said.
At the end of 1st part of the online event series, an open panel session was held, moderated by Ms Ruvneet Bains, Chief Learning Officer, Access-School These panellists included Mrs Kaadambari Muttoo – Ex-teacher The British School, Ex-Director Academics for GEMS India, Author; Mrs Neerja Bhasin – Innovative Science Teacher, Ex-Systems & Design Analyst and Mrs Shoma Lahiri – English Teacher and Cambridge Coordinator, Ex-The Shri Ram School.
The event series ended on October 2 with online teaching pedagogy training sessions for teachers by Sarah White, International Teacher Trainer with Pearson Teacher Education and Leadership Academy (TELA).
While, the Teacher Education and Leadership Academy develops Pearson’s professional learning courses and resources for teachers, Access-School is an ed-tech start-up providing India’s 1st Hybrid-Flexible Learning Ecosystem.