Vidya Yeravedekar, Pro-Chancellor, SIU, Symbiosis University BW Education’s weekly dialogue on epidemics, Virtual aka Cloud Campus, EduTech Revolution, New Education Policy 2020 and her philosophy on education.
A university changes the lives of these young children and that transformation only happens when they are with others on campus so they can communicate and learn about other new things. With the rise of the Covid-19 epidemic and universities have been forced to close their doors for students and take online exams as an alternative to teaching.
A medical doctor trained by Vidya Yervadekar is a Pro-Chancellor, SIU, Principal Director, Symbiosis University trained in a Government Medical College. After that, he did law and then went on to do a PhD in higher education, especially internationalization. He is also on the NEP-2020 Implementation Committee for Global Outreach and Internationalization.
Mixed education and challenges in epidemics
With the rise of the Covid-19 epidemic and universities have been forced to close their doors for students and take online exams as an alternative to teaching. The evolution of mixed learning, it is a teaching and learning method that combines face-to-face classroom instruction in an online setup. This enables a student to work from home, finish and upload their assignments, learning at their own pace. It helps students gradually move into a self-directed learning style.
Vidya says, “Back when Kovid 19 hit us in March 2020. It came as a shock to us as a university. First of all manage the students and make sure they are safe and send them back home. This was the biggest challenge because most of our campuses are residential campuses. Many institutions were running exams at that time so sending students home during exams was a huge challenge and there was panic among parents as well as students, “he said.” The second challenge was that everything was coming online. Suddenly switching to online mode which was completely new. It was very challenging for every teacher. The third challenge was testing and evaluation because it was something that none of us did, but the way the facility adapted to this new online learning was amazing. “
After the lockdown period really helped them because the university built a lot of capacity, they trained teachers and when the subjects were opened, such as teachers could come to the university campus with very little power (10-20 percent) but they got university support and then it was absolutely non-stop. Online learning, they can find different ways of pedagogy and they can find new ways to interact. “As important as peer-to-peer learning is for students, it is equally important for staff members to be with their peers and close to each other,” Vidya said.
The university has adopted different platforms, strategies and pedagogies and it has made all the classes very interesting otherwise speaking in front of the blank screen is sometimes quite challenging because the teachers were accustomed to see the faces, reactions and discussions of the students in the classroom and then. Suddenly their faces were full of a veil and you do not know who you are talking to.
Virtual aka Cloud Campus
A university changes the lives of these young children and that transformation only happens when they are on campus with others among them (teachers, coworkers, staff members) so that they can communicate and learn about other new things. They are in a diverse environment because students from different states and countries are with them. This kind of education is essential otherwise people would go ahead with the idea of virtual university and the fact that they can get their degree sitting at home. “There’s a lot of learning outside of the classroom,” Yervadekar said. Since our personality is made up of much more than what was taught in the classroom. The amount of learning that will happen while you are on the college campus should be as important as the study.
He said, “I am more towards mixed education than virtual university. Virtual education is definitely the solution but more than that it is a mixed education where you can get the best of both worlds. ”
The Edutech Revolution
Edutech companies have played a big part in the epidemic in our lives. With less resources to learn things, these Edutech companies have come forward to help students learn new and innovative things while sitting at home. These platforms already existed but now you can see that they are much more important than ever. The kind of support they give is amazing because you have knowledge coming from all over the world. The biggest advantage of this is that teachers from Yale, Stanford or any other university can now come to the university classroom, which no one has ever dreamed of.
“Edutech and BTW of Conventional Education have been a wonderful marriage and this is the way forward,” he said.
New Education Policy 2020
NEP 2020 which was launched on 29th July 2020 has brought a complete revolution in the Indian education system. After 34 years we have seen a very progressive education policy and it was more than just the advice of the stakeholders. This is not only for people with academic backgrounds, but also for those who come from non-academic backgrounds (industry, gram panchayat leaders, etc.).
They talk not only about skills education and employment but also about liberal education. Which is very important if you want to create a leader in our country. Liberal Arts Education or Liberal Education as you might say it cannot have just a tunnel view of education as for example where engineering students are imparted such knowledge without a tunnel view of technical knowledge. That’s when leadership develops and society needs your thoughtful leaders. “You can’t just have people who are efficient and work like machines in the industry,” said Yeravadekar. All you need is this kind of holistic approach, you need people who are culturally sensitive, people who you can say we have become their world citizens.
The other part of NEP that he likes is internationalization and importance which is not only about student mobility and attracting international students to India but also about cooperation, the signal they are talking about excites him, new idea of internationalization at home.
His philosophy about education
He believes that education is more than just getting a job, job is a by-product employability is actually a by-product that we prepare our students and therefore preparing your students for this kind of concept of embracing different cultures and religions. Education and the needs of other societies are to be seen.
“As an educator or a university we can really change lives and we see this happen every day when parents come back and say they can’t recognize their children after 6-8 months, the kind of confidence and communication skills they have,” he said. There are. It’s about changing mindsets and embracing diversity. “
It is really true that education is beyond training, employment. It’s more about focusing on skills and employment than it is about creating good men and women with a sense of Nobel citizenship and a sense of sensitivity. If you create good people with the right kind of values, you will get jobs wherever you want. It goes back to the whole concept of holistic education that we are trying to give and it is not just about the course, it is about the mentality, the principles that universities and educators give to the students.