Published: 23rd August 2020
Sindhi College's Dr B S Srikanta: Our faculty got to learn something new this year due to the pandemic
Dr B S Srikanta, Principal, Sindhi College speaks about their online class experience and how they are going to take various measure to improve the effectiveness on their students
Education is not just about imparting knowledge and skills, it is about transforming students into good human beings, says, Dr B S Srikanta, Principal of Sindhi College. Having worked in several institutions in Bengaluru for more than three decades, Dr Srikanta, says, "This pandemic has changed the way we look at education and online classes are a new experience to us. In this process, we are ensuring to meet both the standards of teaching and imparting good values in our students."
Experts from an interview:
After the pandemic, how many courses have been taken online and how many have remained offline?
All the courses including BBA, BCA, BSc, BCom, MCom and others have gone online due to this pandemic. We were able to complete the syllabus of this academic year successfully. Even the percentage of attendance was good initially, however, when the Government of Karnataka announced that the first and second-year students will not have exams, the number of students attending online classes dropped. The next academic year's classes will start on September 1 as per the UGC guidelines and they will be held online.
Is it the first time that Sindhi College has resorted to online classes and what were the challenges?Exploring online classes was a first-time experience for our faculty and thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we got to learn something new this year. There were several challenges and the effectiveness of these classes on our students is one of the most important factors. As per my observation, it is effective on about 60 per cent of our students. There are many reasons behind this and network issue was one of them. Many students moved to their native places and they did not have proper internet connectivity, some of them come from poor families and they couldn't afford internet facilities. Another reason behind the lack of effectiveness is the shy nature of students to ask questions or doubts to the faculty. I have observed that they hesitate to ask questions even when they are attending the classes physically. Such students need extra teaching and attention where as it becomes difficult to give individual attention to these students during online classes.
Are you taking any measures to see that online classes make a good impact on your students?While we are planning to take some important steps in the future, we have also taken some simple measures so that the online classes make a positive impact on these students. We have uploaded most of the videos of lecturers teaching various concepts in subjects like Accountancy, Mathematics etc on our YouTube channel so that they can access them at any time. I feel there is going to be a paradigm shift in the education sector. It is more beneficial to students than teachers. Because they need not travel to college from far away places and learn lessons in their own comfort. Then one can record these classes through various applications. Aside from this, there is more scope for courses that are available through MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses).
How is the New Education Policy going to impact education in India?
The New Education Policy is definitely going to make a positive impact. For example, the 5+3+3+4 system, they focus more on improving their cognitive and behavioural skills rather than rote learning. This will make it easy for students when they go abroad to pursue higher education. It is one of the best policies that I have noticed in all these years that I have been teaching.
What were the initiatives your students took up during this pandemic?
Our NSS volunteers worked as COVID volunteers in the month of March and February. Though their parents were not willing to send them on the field, they convinced them and took a bold step in creating awareness about this disease. Even now, five NCC cadets are working as full-time COVID volunteers in the government health centres in identifying the positive patients, tracking and tracing their contacts.
We know that courses like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and several other computer courses are going to be in huge demand in the post-pandemic world. Are you going to conduct classes for these courses?
Not just AI or Big Data, we have been providing several value-added programmes for free to our students even before the pandemic took place. For example, we provide Digital Marketing, SAP classes, Business Analytics to our BCom students. Apart from this, we provide coaching for CAT exams for final year students and prepare them to pursue higher studies. Similarly, for the students who are pursuing the BCA course, we provide classes on cloud computing, cyber security, Artificial Intelligence, blockchain technology and so on.