THE TRIBUNE INTERVIEW
With opening of the schools and colleges, the challenges have increased as the teachers are now taking up online as well as offline classes. Several updations have been made and many more are on the cards. Dr Anoop Kumar, president of DAV College managing committee, Hoshiarpur, an organisation managing around 12 schools and colleges in various parts of the state for over a century, feels that biggest concern remains the safety and health of the staff and students. In an interview with Sanjeev Kumar Bakshi, he opens up about the problems the pandemic set in motion for the education sector, an opportunity to update the infrastructure and how the technological advancements made have polished the staff 'technologically' and more adept to its use in the teaching-learning process.
How is the teaching of different institutions faring digitally and on offline mode?
Online teaching was started in our institutions in April. DAVC of Education was the first off the block. Also, offline classes have begun now and we are complying with government guidelines.
The present scenario has changed the academic perspective a lot. The situation is quite a different one and unprecedented solutions have to be grinded out for this unprecedented situation. We have utilised the pandemic period as an opportunity to upgrade. Many facilities have been upgraded in almost all of our institutions and a major development project was taken in our pioneer institution, the 122-year-old DAV Senior Secondary School, Hoshiarpur. —Dr Anoop Kumar, President, DAV College managing committee, Hoshiarpur
Are there any infrastructural changes introduced for classes?
We have introduced several changes as teachers had to take online classes and many of them were not well-versed with the use of latest technology required in the post pandemic phase. So, a complete overhaul in the schools and colleges was needed and all has been updated — WiFi availability and connectivity has been further improved and strengthened.
Is the faculty trained and updated for the changed mode of teaching?
Special training sessions have been conducted for teachers and non-teaching staff to sensitise them of students' needs.
How do you look upon the current changed scenario of academics?
The present scenario has changed the academic prospective a lot. The situation is quite a different one and unprecedented solutions have to be grinded out for this unprecedented situation. We have utilised the pandemic period as an opportunity to upgrade. Many facilities have been upgraded in almost all of our institutions and a major development project was taken in our pioneer institution, the 122-year-old DAV Senior Secondary School, Hoshiarpur, where not only the new auditorium has been raised but new updated toilet blocks were added apart from the renovation of building and other infrastructure. A 'maths park' has also been created which is first of its kind initiative to make students learn while at play.
Any updations made or on cards to enable students to cope with the new situation?
The training of students especially of the science stream has suffered a lot. The lab work has to start soon though the syllabus has to be curtailed but we are trying our best that students don't clear the exams half baked.
What precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of virus?
Thermal screening, physical distancing, hand and surface sanitisation, wearing of masks, are all being done as per standard protocols.
What will be your biggest concern once the regular teaching starts?
Our biggest concern will be to ensure the safety of students and staff. Protecting them would be a challenge but we are taking all necessary precautions. We are even sensitising them to prepare them to brace up for the post Covid era.
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