Dr. Harish Kumar S Purohit. Director at Parle Tilak Vidyalaya Association’s Institute of Management
While the covid-19 situation has put forward many challenges currently, it has also created great opportunities. So, we are putting together an industry story on ‘Opportunities & challenges for universities, institutes colleges in a Covid-19 world’. The story is aimed to feature on popular media channels such as Exchange 4 Media, Social Samosa and Times Network. We are making efforts to get bytes of leaders in the education domain and we would be privileged to have your views on it.
- What have been your key challenges during the lockdown?
It is obvious that looking at challenges, not only during the lockdown but even after the lockdown, the whole world will operate in a different manner. The entire Civilization is evolving so the societies have to be evolved keeping the safety of all people, colleagues and all the stakeholders. Education industry is a part of the society and will also change.
Currently we are taking Assignments online Instead of taking one on one. After projects are done, we will take online whywa. Results will be delayed and new admissions will be delayed. We all have to work from home, these are some of the challenges faced.
- How do you see digital technologies helping you overcome these challenges?
Like the industrial revolution this is going to be a new education revolutio. The digital medium or the modes of digital technologies will play a very crucial role in the development of the whole society and the learning systems. Our focus is on how colleges and schools will evolve with the changing times
When you look at digital normal, though it is part of everyday life it is evolving very fast. We have app based models in education and we have many apps like Byju’s. innovations are happening in the industry.
Take an example of Reliance and Facebook where they are trying to revolutionize the retailing through whatsapp. Individuals don’t need to download any new app, just by using whatsapp you can order online faster. Same kind of innovations with technology will come in education and then not only students but also the teaching community, the colleges and institutes have to adapt to the new ways of teaching and learning.
In the long run zoom classrooms, meetings, webinars will not be effective because internet services are still not reliable in remote places. These are fundamental infrastructure challenges, until those are resolved there will be a hybrid model of education. Wherever possible, the digital domain will take the edge . UGC has created a swayam platform since last 1-2 years where they are encouraging teachers to go online and do some courses , teachers have to adapt. Every college has to evolve with technological support. Most of the college’s websites are static, not dynamic. They have to be more interactive.
What about digital marketing ?
The colleges, institutes have their own ERP/software systems where students and parents login to find the required information. Operations of colleges and institutes will shift on digital platforms and cloud. Digital marketing will take another route. Institutions are doing a little bit of their part.
We have learned our lesson in 2 months and we have to evolve for a long term solution for the benefit of all stakeholders. Regulators have to provide the hand holding. The UGC/AICTE/Any other regulatory body have certain guidelines that we have to follow. Every headcount in the college has a cost. You have to think from an industry point of view and then regulators have to modify their policy because in the digital domain. Suppose my institution has a tie-up with IIM and if I am going to get the faculty lectures recorded to be shown to my students then my teacher will be there to coordinate and discuss. Then the whole of the activities of the teacher becomes different. So digital technology will take the lead. Thus I will be able to get the best teacher and pay a premium but then I will not need so many headcounts, I will take only which is relevant.
Now we have to inculcate the specialized skills among the students. So the basics will be taught in the recorded version and the next level is to develop the skill sets will be taught by class teachers. Those colleges and universities that can provide the connect to the industries for the application, utility, skill based approach will be the winner. Technology will act as a strong tool with the help of AI, data mining etc
The content also has to be changed from time to time. The core focus will be on skill orientation.
- Thanks to the many learning apps, students entering college education are now habituated to learning through education videos. Are you also planning to create education videos, to improve the pedagogy at your university/ institute/ college?
In the near future institutes have to develop their own content. Current way of teaching will not work if recorded as it is. In the classroom there is interaction between student and teacher but in the online world everybody can watch you at any given point therefore the content has to be of a very high quality. Teachers and professors need to develop high confidence. Students can access the high quality standard / recorded content through the college, university website or app and then they have to interact with faculty and other students for solving their difficulties, case study presentations, situation based role plays and group discussions.
Education industry will be more market oriented. Routine and mundane parts of the education have to change as per the industry requirement. The institutes, universities have to evolve with the syllabus that will be more of application based learning. Examination patterns will also change.
- Does your university/ institute/ college accept fee payments online? If not, do you plan to give online fee payment facility to students?
Online payment through RTGS is possible and all information is always available online.
Admission will be based on the kind of deliverables the institution offers from a value proposition point of view. For International education, if parents are paying very high fees but getting the same education in India at much lower fees through online courses, they will think twice before sending their kids abroad. If the focus will be learning through technology and not classroom learning then why should students spend more on studying abroad. Student enrollment will also change to the best of the best schools who provide the best courses.
- Please share some of your insights & learnings from the lockdown.
We need to be more innovative in our approach and provide solutions to the students, to the industry, because the job market will change. Those who have an edge in the digital domain will get the benefit hence we not only have to revise our core of learning but also connect that with the help of digital technology with the real market practice. Market will also evolve, Everyone is working from home, the new age students will have to be trained on new technologies.
Now it’s Leaning for institutes, learning for corporates, leaning for students. Keep learning, it’s a new world of lifelong learning.
- Posted By:
Chandan Bagwe, is the Founder and Managing Director of C Com Digital, founded the company two decades ago in 1998. This can be attributed to consistent and immaculate services in online development and marketing along with recruitment of an experienced and specialized team under his stewardship. Chandan has established the company as the leading techno digital marketing agency in India essentially focusing on the digital publicity of brands by integrating Content Curation & Creation, influencer marketing, digital public relations and distribution of varied content. The company has worked with leading brands such as Times Now, Edelweiss, Tata Interactive Systems, Tata ClassEdge, Asian Heart Institute, Anunta Technology Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Blue Cross Laboratories Pvt. Ltd, We School, Outlook Publishing, Southern Health Foods Pvt. Ltd (Manna), Ram Ratna Group, and Globus to name a few.