In these unprecedented times, the hottest topic of debate is how the persisting pandemic is affecting everyone. So, for obvious reasons, we had to ask our country’s educators the same question. What they believe is the biggest challenge for the Indian Education System in the current scenario.
Some had a lot to say and others summed it up in a single phrase. But unlike other surveys, we did not put out forms to be filled with preemptive responses to choose from. We asked these educators to pour out their hearts, to tell us what is affecting them the most. The answers were more astounding than concerning.
Yes, teachers are upset about the fees and the eventual salary delays but that was not the most challenging issue for the majority of them. According to these teachers, the most challenging problem is their inability to be present for their students like they can in a physical classroom. Even though online learning is taxing to them, they are more worried about the wholesome development of the students.
These selfless, unsung heroes of the education sector have been swatting difficulties since the first day of the lockdown and yet their biggest fear is the digital divide, not personal gains. The teachers in urban schools do not need to voice the issue of the digital divide, they could easily claim their salary delays but they chose not to. The one chance ScooNews gave these teachers, they preferred rather telling the possible readers and policymakers how worrisome is the idea of no equity in education.
Such are the educators, of course being human makes them agonize over their own discomfort but that does not stop them from expressing their deepest concerns for the students of this nation.
Read some of the responses below:
What do you think is the biggest challenge Indian Education System is facing during the Pandemic?
- The biggest challenge our education system is facing today is the ability to CONNECT with the stakeholders. Be it cognitive, emotional, conceptual or behavioural, there is a mismatch in the bandwidth and frequency. Another challenge is the not so subtle DIGITAL DIVIDE, there is still a struggle also a passive effort with the acceptance of digital gadgets and Internet data. We are into the second year of the pandemic but somehow we have not learned the lessons from the previous pandemic year and have not prepared ourselves for the future. The mindset is very rigid and the alternative plan has yet not been thought about. Education has been one of the last priorities for everyone on their agenda. More concern and the prime focus has been on the payment of fees rather than attaining knowledge.
Rishabh Srivastava, Examination Controller, SMRJ schools Banaras Babatpur Campus
- The biggest challenges:
- Conducting a serious and credible assessment or testing system.
- Convincing and winning the confidence of many, including the parents who feel that online education is only an eyewash exercise.
Madhu Pusarla, Principal, Sudharsanam Vidyaashram
- I sincerely believe it is the gap caused in the teaching and learning process owing to the lack of I.T literacy among teachers and availability of gadgets both with teachers and children. This has further pushed children and families towards lack of education due to financial constraints in procuring gadgets and lack of technical knowledge of their usage. The disparity between urban and rural India is further complicated by the digital divide, leading to issues with consistency and quality of learning for all children.
Farida Lokhandwala, Assistant General Manager India, Podar Jumbo Kids (Podar Education Network)
- The biggest problem the Indian education system is facing in current times is the challenge of equity.
Siddharth Rajagarhia, Chief Learner & Director, Delhi Public School, Nashik, Varanashi, Lava Nagpur
- The biggest challenge schools are facing is regarding the technology-enabled infrastructure, professional development for teachers to shift from offline to online mode and generating revenue for school as well as the welfare of teachers.
Sasmita Mohanty, Principal, Sanjay Ghodawat International School, Kolhapur
- The biggest of these is the challenge to provide uninterrupted education to students and maintain the high standards of teaching and learning at the same time. Online education is a good stopgap measure, but it can’t replace classroom teaching. To keep students engaged in online classes, identify their learning gaps and then create lessons to fill these gaps is indeed a big challenge. I think during the second wave, more than anything the mental and emotional well being of both teachers and students is necessary. Maintaining sanity and calmness, remaining motivated amidst the chaos and turmoil are the biggest challenges.
Poonam Kochitty, Principal, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Lucknow.
- Biggest challenges being:
- Govt. disability to make proper reforms on the changed scenario of school fees.
- Teachers of private schools are suffering due to low funds.
- Set a standardised rule for all Boards pan India.
- Set a slab of salary for teachers by the collector of the district for all private schools as per the past earning status.
- Bring education under essential commodities and give all benefits that follow.
- Special insurance schemes to be brought out by the govt for teachers attending schools, make special provisions taking into account their daily schedules.
Geeta Shetty, Principal, Swami Vivekananda International School, Kolhapur, Maharashtra.
- The biggest challenge that we face today not only in India but globally is making sure that our future global citizens are mentally, physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually sound. More than half the population of teachers is not tech-savvy, and so they will struggle with implementing digital teaching in virtual classrooms. It’s a fact that even veteran teachers feel uncomfortable and less confident with smart classrooms. In the earlier times, the Gurukul system of learning focus was given more importance in the understanding of the learner but in today’s time teaching is more focused on exams, marks and results. Thanks to NEP 2020 we do have a ray of hope provided it is implemented effectively. A good flexible teaching platform can help the teachers to contribute better to education quality.
Dr. Ushavati Shetty, Principal, Navodaya English High School & Jr. College, Thane
- The biggest challenge is the uncertainty of what will happen which is quite depressing.
Binita Sarkar, CEO & Founder Director, The Centre of Excellence Kingmakerz of the Future, Kolkata