Q&A library

What are some best practices and guidelines for teachers, parents and students in the wake of the changing education process?
Teachers: Try to create an environment for students to self-motivate and self-learn, rather than trying to replicate what used to be happening in the classroom, directly in front of a webcam. The primary duty of a modern teacher would be to enable and guide, rather than teach and train. This awareness could help bring important changes in the way you develop yourself as an educator in the years to come.Parents: Try to set up a dedicated space/ desk at home for your child’s study/productivity. At this time, encourage your kids to stay curious and research-friendly. Encourage your child to explore solutions to problems by researching on the internet.Students: We are moving into an age where self-motivation and focus will reign above all other qualities. While you’ll find yourself consuming a lot more content and ideas to enrich your education, please make sure that you do so with a sense of self-discipline. If you’re someone that is constantly in need of others telling you what to do, now would be a good time to break out of such expectations and to exercise a positive spirit of being productive.

ICSE has reduced its syllabus to 1/4th and CBSE to 1/3rd. My son is in 12th standard now. If he fails to get a medical or engineering seat this year, he will have to go for full-time coaching for one more year. Next year if it is a full syllabus, how will he cope up and compete?
The key here is to divide your child's syllabus into two parts:-The first part will be the syllabus that will come in the upcoming board exams. This syllabus will have to be completed first and continuously revised.-The second part will be the comprehensive one, covering topics that are important for the competitive exams. This syllabus will have to be completed simultaneously with the syllabus for the board exams. It can then be revised rigorously in the gap between the board and competitive exams.This will prepare your children to be prepared for and perform well in both.

How do I seek professional education in other states now that COVID is restricting movement?
Since COVID is affecting people all over the world, most universities have made significant changes in the way they will be handling courses this year. You will most likely hear about universities adapted to online teaching.Some universities are in the process of providing subscriptions to various online courses that cover similar subjects to what they cover as a part of their curriculum.Since all universities have their own unique take on handling this situation, it would be a good idea to reach out to the university of your preference, and check how they intend to handle the situation. Have no worries, as they will most likely have a good resolution that works best for their students.

How can the students' skills be evaluated through online learning?
This is where institutions have to get creative. Assessments can still be effective but have to be made interactive.-Students have to be invited to be participative through online classes. They need to familiarize themselves with online tools and be encouraged to use them.-Class sizes should be optimum (10-15) since there is little direct visibility between the teacher and the student.-Students should be encouraged to send in assessment answers through audio and video.

With online learning and physical restrictions, how can students continue to pursue extra-curricular activities, such as sports?
Educational institutions must maintain that students spend time on fitness. Whether it could be health and wellness sessions and general PT sessions. Students must be encouraged to remain fit. Many professional clubs have taken to online sports training to keep training kids. This is something that schools can also implement until a time arrives where students can go back to school and play together.Other than team activities, students should be encouraged to spend a few hours a day on activities outside of their core subjects.

What are the difficulties students may face in preparing for higher studies?
The main difficulty that students are going to face is an emotional and psychological one, in getting adjusted to the new normal. Not being able to interact with a lot of their friends and peers could seem unnatural to them, and which is essential to their self-development.Students could be facing the following difficulties:-Being forced to remain in a place where educational facilities are not up to the mark as travel is not possible;-Data accessibility could be a problem-Lack of education infrastructure such as knowledge resources (online and books) and equipment-As students advance and specialize, they need more practical knowledge. Online education is still evolving in this.-Lack of field trips and workshops

Is there a lack of problem solving skills of children through online education?
The effects of this have not been effectively documented enough to make a judgement on this. But there will definitely be an impact on a student's ability to problem solve over the next few months. This is because students problem solving skills are not only a result of focus and concentration individualistically, but also a result of them working in teams, bouncing ideas off of each other and coming to the required conclusion.Parents must be considerate of this and help their children in any way they can. Students should be encouraged to work on activities with other students outside of their course-work to help develop the skills they would otherwise have acquired in a physical classroom.

As a student who is confused about what to do next, what would you advise? Further studies or trying for a job?
This is understandable - most of us stumble at this stage, with too much information available on the internet, and with so much social pressure and opinions coming our way, we might choose a path which either suits the societal acceptance or a path where potential earning opportunities are high.You can consider the following suggestions:Self assessment:Always audit yourself - who you are and what your core skills are is extremely important for one to be authentic. Self-awareness and high emotional intelligence are also correlated with greater levels of success.Articulate who you are:Once you are convinced you had spent adequate time to introspect “yourself” now prepare your achievement-based resume. Create at least 10-15 versions of your resume. Articulate everything including your weaknesses.

How many hours of online learning daily are recommended for effective learning?
We have had to shift to an online learning universe overnight so some amount of fatigue is definitely understandable and this is a good question to ponder about. However, the number of hours is less important to debate. What is important is- the quality of the material and efficacy in learning- the involvement of the learner.The answer can also depend on the age group - perhaps the ability for children to sit through online learning could be lesser that adults.A good tip is to take frequent breaks. The 20-20-20 rule for e.g. is a great tip - every 20 mins, take a 20 sec break and focus your eyes on something 20 feet away

in your option can entire college syllabus like for engineering etc. Be transferred online? What will the challenges be?
In the past 3 months, almost all engineering colleges have run their daily lectures online via tools like Zoom. In fact tests are also being run by turning the video on at the student's end. So as far as theory or discussions are concerned, the online medium can be used effectively. However there is much to think about when you consider the practical training in a course like engineering. Lab set up, machine work cannot be replicated using home infrastructure and so that remains an open point. Also group projects can be a little challenging as measuring in experiments, discussing readings etc. cannot really be done online as seamlessly as in a lab.

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