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There Will Be More Empathy In The Way People Approach Education: Dr Anunaya Chaubey, ANU

In an exclusive interaction with BW Education, Dr Anunaya Chaubey, Provost of Anant National University, talks about the institution and it's approach to fight with COVID-19.

What are your strategies to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on the teaching-learning process?  

We have moved to an online mode of teaching to continue with uninterrupted teaching. We have successfully conducted juries, where students of Architecture and Design presented their work to the faculty, who in turn gave them valuable feedback. Additionally, we have encouraged students to constantly engage with design ideas through our initiatives such as webinar series, QED design contest, COVID-19 recovery facilities initiative, etc. All these strategies are helping the students continue their relationship with academics and get a practical understanding of their ideas. 

What kind of changes were made at the policy level?  

Since the lockdown began on 21st March 2020, we moved to an online mode of teaching and learning, wherein our students and faculty have continued with their academic curriculum for the semester.  

What changes do you see coming into the learning pattern post-COVID-19?  

In a post-COVID world, I anticipate there will be more empathy in the way people approach education and teaching. This situation has brought up a lot of questions related to design ethics, safety, implementation of designs etc. We believe our students will benefit from some of these answers our academics are hunting for. Also in an online world, the exchange of ideas has become easier. We see students and teachers from various academic institutions interacting with each other more freely, through webinars, etc. This is an encouraging pattern. 

Do you find the institution prepared to fight with such a situation in the future and ensure continued learning?   

Absolutely. We think that the University was able to take all the right steps to ensure student safety and their continued engagement with academics. In the future, our learnings will pave the way for excellent preparation.  

Do you think online will be the default mode for education in India? Are we ready for this transformation?  

While the online mode of education is useful, it has its limitations. India is not fully digitally empowered. A lot of our students come from backgrounds where they don't have access to good internet service or good gadgets. It is imperative that we first structurally enable that. Additionally, design and architecture students derive immense learning from lab sessions and workshops with their faculty. This is one of the handicaps in the online mode.  



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