Published: 05th December 2020
Schools will transform into live labs, while students continue to learn online: Sonam Wangchuk
Education will be one of the fields that will see a lot of innovation as we transition to the new normal after the pandemic, added Sonam Wangchuk
Schools will change their roles into becoming live labs, where students and teachers come not just for lectures but for hands-on experience and applications, said education reformist and innovator Sonam Wangchuk. "Their role will be different and the most important in the new normal. They will do things in a way that no internet can do. This is where I see a very positive change coming in," he said while speaking at the IIT Madras's conclave Sangam which is being conducted online this year.
Education will be one of the fields that will see a lot of innovation as we transition to the new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, said Wangchuk. "Until now we saw that things did not change in education while a lot of things were changing around the world. When I visited the IITs and other institutes last year, professors told me that students were not taking an interest and they were not enthusiastic. I would say things have changed now — the world's best communicators have the topics with illustrations, animations, so they don't find their own class teachers every day as interesting. With the pandemic, things have opened up to that world, the digital world. Our teachers and professors would be good curators of learning who brings the best of contents from across the world to the students, that would be one part. But again digital alone cannot make things happen, it can only happen when you touch things in real life, solve real problems, connect with real people, for that the educational institutes will be needed. I see that this will leave things changed forever and for the better. We will continue to use digital learning for the concepts, using the best lectures from across the world. Thus, lessons will become interesting, as interesting as movies and games with numerous companies and organisations coming up with such engaging content," explained Wangchuk.
Speaking elaborately on the effective delivery of education as we transition into the new normal, Sonam Wangchuk said that our teachers and professors have to adapt to the situation and make better use of the internet. "It's like a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Students already know what's available on the web, however, our educators were unaware until now. I also believe that within a year or so, entrepreneurs and innovators will rise to the occasion to create more engaging lessons that students can't miss out on," he added.
The innovator from Ladakh who is also known for his significant contributions towards the environment added that COVID-19 has taught us to live simpler lives and that we can be happier. "Rivers became sparklier, the sky became clearer with the less use of machines. I believe the pandemic will change the outlook on life and help us understand that it enabled other living beings on this planet to also survive. I hope the pandemic leaves us with this lesson," he said.
Pointing towards a survey by the World Wildlife Fund recently, Wangchuk stated that between 1972 to 2012, our wildlife population went down by 48 per cent on the planet. "And we are worried about our eight per cent economic growth. It's not just human beings who have a prerogative on this planet, if we are not careful we will be eliminated too. We are a much worse virus for animals than the Coronavirus. The education system has to transform itself from the production-consumption teaching that began with the industrial revolution. We are 300 years into the consequence of that, we need to change inputs into the education machinery," he said.