Teachers Have To Become Learners?
The FICCI Telangana State Council in association with the Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) organized a webinar on ‘National Education Policy 2020- A Game Changer for Telangana’ with the theme ‘Making Telangana a Global Higher Education Hub’ on Saturday, 19 September 2020.
The subject of NEP 2020 is very topical in nature. Considering its significance, several experts from different walks of the education sectors participated in the webinar on ‘National Education Policy 2020- A Game Changer for Telangana’ with the theme ‘Making Telangana a Global Higher Education Hub’.
Keynote speaker of the event was Prof Debashis Chatterjee Director Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode. “In the next 20 years India will show up as one of the best education hubs of the world and Telangana will play a big role in that”. In 2047 6 billion people will have little learning but an enormous hunger for learning. India has a cost advantage over Australia, and with many players, in the education space, India will leave Australia behind. “This place can be one of the world’s most educated cities”, he added. He spoke how India can attract millions of students by sticking to its culture of giving. Reviving ancient teaching, and reviving knowledge. Satyam, Nityam and Poornam are the real values of education because liberation learner is real education. “India will soon be in the middle of the education hub and in the middle of a potential sea of opportunities in the education space”.
The plenary session was opened by Prof Sabu S Padmadas, Associate Dean (International), the University of Southampton who spoke about the incredible commitment from the Govt. of Telangana, and the civil services. He believes that Southampton can be in the top, and we already are in the top 50 in departments like nursing, archaeology, etc. “It is important to realise the branding and the value”, he stated. Research can inform and impact the society at large. The Covid-19 research of Southampton is accepted by the British government, and the ethos of Southampton University is to change the world for better through high-impact research. “I am of the opinion that we have to think beyond this conventional way of teaching and annual examinations. The student experience is equally important, and infrastructure along with facilities play a major role in that”, Prof Sabu stated. He highlighted the opportunities that comes along with the NEP 2020. “These come with a cost, and there’s a social and moral responsibility. We are also taking CSR education to help students who are financially backwards”, he added. He concluded saying that innovation, responsibility, creativity and reflecting the needs of the aspirations of the students are fundamental.
Cesar Wazen, Director of International Affairs Office, Qatar University, Qatar was the second speaker who explained all about Qatar University in a nutshell. “With the NEP 2020 I saw a lot of similarities exist between Hyderabad and Doha”, he stated. Qatar has been working a lot on human development, and currently, Qatar University is in a transformation phase. The 3 dimensions of Qatar are the educational transformation, impactful transformation and institutional transformation. The new vision of Qatar University is to be regionally recognised for distinctive excellence in education and research, and a catalyst for the sustainable socio-economic development of Qatar. The core values of education are excellence, integrity, diversity, social responsibility, innovation and academic freedom. Talking about the national education policy 2020, Mr Cesar said, “NEP 2020 is very good dawn which will bring expertise very close to you”. He also shared the ‘model of transformative education’ of Qatar University which can also help Telangana to strengthen its higher education.
The session was moderated by Dr Ashwin Fernande, Regional Director for QS Quacquarelli Symonds in Middle East, North Africa & South Asia, who highlighted the aspirations of Telangana, the potential and the infrastructure that sets Telangana apart from the rest of the nation along with discussing the current status of the educational status of the State.
The plenary session was followed by three parallel sessions on ‘blended learning’, ‘achieving sustainability in higher education space’ and ‘student Outcomes for Building Quality Resource Pool’.
The speakers for the session on ‘Blended Learning’ were Supreeth Nagaraju, Head Education, ADOBE Systems, Shaurya Pratap Singh, Regional Director, Coursera, and Kala Anand, Director - Communications, Partnerships and Career Services, Krea University. The session was chaired by Dr Santanu Paul, CEO & MD, TalentSprint.
Supreeth Nagaraju, Head Education, ADOBE Systems, spoke how the health crisis has forced people to look at education under completely different optics. “There are multiple bunch of learners. NEP Give the individual freedom, flexibility and student centricity. “50% of the jobs that were on the ground have moved on digital. 80% of all the industries are ‘phygital’ now. “The educational industry needs to gear up technologically from gear 2 to gear 5”. The fundamental structure of shifting to digital successfully lies in the implementation and the vocationalisation of education. He highlighted the fundamentals that need to change like the centricity of students, collaboration both foreign and industry-academia, etc. “Market yourself as a talent hub”, he concluded.
Shaurya Pratap Singh, Regional Director, Coursera spoke on the top 5 skills that makes a student employable as the bar is getting higher for the entry-level talent to get employment. He spoke from a Coursera perspective and said, “A lot of existing professionals will need constant rescaling and upscaling, so everything will keep changing every 5 years”. Understanding the motivation for learning, the flexibility of the learner, the relevance, etc. are important to create impact for the students. “We cannot forget the faculty experience as well”, he added. He gave a set of personal examples from his MBA journey. Online can plug-in the gap. “Coming to skills, you will need business, technology and data skills to be relevant in today’s scenario along with common human skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, etc,” he concluded.
Talking about the vision of learner centricity, Kala Anand, Director - Communications, Partnerships and Career Services, Krea University touched on the CTO function and media lab that was already a part of the university to look at the learner centricity. “Through NEP 2020, the impact of new learning is all about balancing synchronous and asynchronous learning, along with customization of learning. Qualification will not equal learning anymore”. The online classes are bringing in focus group discussion, and are transforming the teachers into learning facilitators.
The key takeaways of the parallel sessions will be presented in the Concluding Session. The welcoming and introduction of the concluding session as done by T Muralidharan, Chairman, FICCI Telangana & Chairman, TMI Group.
Ashwin Fernandes, Regional Director for QS Quacquarelli Symonds in Middle East, North Africa & South Asia, spoke about the importance of agile leaderships, producing globally accepted and renowned curriculums, and branding Telangana as an education hub to prove that Telangana is ready for global collaborations and global business.
Dr Santanu Paul, CEO & MD, TalentSprint who highlighted five key points of the success of blended learning which is said to be there future- seamless and frictionless learning infrastructure for students, scalable and cloud-based learning delivery platforms for institutions, large-scale teacher training on effective digital instruction, supplemental digital content for the academic enrichment of students, and DeepTech programmes for high-value employment.
Atul Khosla, Founder and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Shoolini University highlighted the sustainability of education through infra support of new universities, a startup incubator in each college and universities, private-sector research funding, collaborations or clusters of universities inside this State itself, support for foreign partnerships in the context of NEP 2020 and the branding of Telangana.
Nathan SV, Partner and Chief Talent Officer, Deloitte India focussed on the key points from the students’ perspective which involves delinking affiliation, migration of students from colleges, policy is excellent but implementation should be the focus, bring in top campus from the world of Telangana, and Carpe Diem- seizing the moment.
Dr NV Ramana Rao, Director, NIT Warangal spoke about the disadvantages of the educational systems of Telangana like rigid separation of disciplines, limited access in socio-economically disadvantaged areas, limited teacher and institutional autonomy, lesser emphasis on research, ineffective regulatory system, etc. followed by a roadmap to fix the issues such as moving towards a higher educational system consisting of large and multidisciplinary universities, moving towards faculty and institutional autonomy, etc.
Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises & The President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FICCI) shared her thoughts on making the students more resilient and figuring out the skilling aspect that are very well addressed in NEP 2020.
Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary to Government Industries and Commerce Department and IT, Govt. of Telangana who mentioned that industry will be attracted only if you create a good demand for it because unless the demand is created, the industry won’t respond. Training of teachers, coming out of ‘exam-focussed-assessment’ and making industry experience a part of the curriculum needs to be implemented immediately to form an enabling environment in Telangana higher education.
Navin Mittal. Commissioner, Collegiate Education & Technical Education, Government of Telangana focussed on what the Telangana government can do to strengthen the higher education such as encourage more private investments in universities, getting out of the affiliated system that is also mentioned in the National Education Policy, boosting public universities from a research point of view, bringing in more flexibility in the system, and bringing in blended learning.
The concluding was done by the moderator T Muralidharan where he stated, “Embrace the change, or we resist it.” Telangana needs to bring in cosmopolitan and international student, treat education as industry and focus on blended learning.
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