” Above picture: Dhruv Galgotia, CEO Galgotias university”
India today reporter: Can the classrooms remain as congested as they are now ? how can they be decongested considering Indias poor education Infrastructure?
Dhruv Galgotia : I believe that during the COVID19 pandemic the shift from classroom teaching to online teaching for the delivery of knowledge has seen a remarkable shift. Many private universities in India such as ours have quickly adapted to Online teaching and learning via several platforms and Learning management systems available with universities.
The classrooms in universities and colleges post opening of the lockdown will have to adhere to the norms of social distancing and students and faculty will have to ensure the guidelines given to universities and colleges by the competent authorities are followed and implemented.Extensive Sanitisation of classrooms and common areas will be the new normal in educational institutions.
I also feel that the government has been pro-active and forward looking in managing the epidemic and it will be equally conscious of the infrastructure requirements needed for practicing of social distancing in educational institutions managed by the government.
The shift system/sub-group of classes will need to be implemented to take load off the classrooms and limitations and restrictions on number of students will need to be implemented.Institutions will be required to open for all 7 days of the week.
Some part of the courses e.g. 25-30% may even be given online mode to ensure course coverage while reducing physical contact and universities with strong IT infrastructure will be able to adapt to this new way of teaching.
Our students at Galgotias are being exposed to more than 40,000+ online lectures, 12,000+ e-learning resources, 3,000+ virtual classroom instances, 4,000+ online assignments, 1,000+ virtual videos and more than 500+ virtual programming labs.
2. Related activities : Other activities such as Transportation,Mess, Hostel, Sports, and extra-curricular activities.How do you plan to go about the, ?
Dhruv Galgotia: I am happy to share that while universities were struggling to figure out how to transition to the digital world, Galgotias university became the first university to conduct India’s First online fest where more that 10,000 national and international students participating and getting an opportunity to showcase their talent in 50+ events while sitting at home. This is the first time in India that an event at this scale has been done online and hosted by Galgotias university.
Transportation management teams in institutions will need ensure proper distancing and there will be a need to regulate and rework the capacity and strength of students.The no of vehicles assisting students in all forms of transportation will need to increased and proper sanitation in vehicles,buses,motorbikes and parking areas should be planned to ensure the hygiene.
All major sporting events will have to be cancelled in the immediate future but institutions and institutions will allow sports where individuals or less than 5 people are involved such as squash, table tennis, tennis, Golf, badminton. Team sports such as cricket, football, basketball will need a review and certain changes of maintaining distancing will need to be made to play and implement such sporting activities
Apart from this, staggered meal timings in the mess/canteen will need to be ensured during dining hours and Mess management teams will need to ensure proper waste disposal mechanism and hygiene in sensitive areas.
3.Practical and technical education : How will it impact the laboratories in science streams ?
Dhruv Galgotia: All over the world there are platforms and good practices to perform lab activities on open source simulation softwares and in India, Virtual laboratories are used for practical assessments and are fully interactive simulations in which students perform experiments, collect data and answer questions to assess their understanding.These virtual labs combine animations, illustrations, and videos to support and convey key information and engage and enlighten the students in the process of science and can be very close to the real-world experiment.
Our students from Computer science, Electrical engineering, civil engineering and also microbiology and other basic sciences are using virtual labs and gaining knowledge without compromising on quality of education.
4. Examinations: How will exam centres be maintained ? Even regular examinations will not be held in the same way. But how will they be different ?
Dhruv Galgotia: Examinations and assessments are an important activity for every institution and there will need to be a radical change in the way examinations are conducted in educational institutions.I believe the conventional ways the examinations being conducted using pen and paper will soon be replaced by online assessment tools equipped to handle any format of questions and answers, this will not only reduce contact of students in exam halls but will also help faculty assess the student online from any location.This process will not only be safe but also an effective way to practice in times of a pandemic and beyond.
Institutions which do not adapt to technology and its use in academics will need to upgrade their IT infrastructure to ensure all precautions are taken into consideration. A recent study by a top research company shows online education taking a leap with numbers reaching almost 10 million by next year.
Online softwares are now available with various diverse capabilities tackling the issues of impersonation,unfair means and various aspects of cheating are covered by these tools to ensure fair examinations for all stakeholders.
5. How are teachers upgrading their skills during ?
Dhruv Galgotia: This pandemic has given us many difficulties but with every challenge come an opportunity. Faculties at Galgotias apart from teaching students online and taking their assessments and presentations are also upgrading their skills by taking part in various Online Faculty development programs, digital workshops, Online Certifications courses and accessing several open course ware from the best institutions globally benchmarked in their field to ensure their delivery and knowledge not only increases but also help them grow in their career.
At Galgotias we have tie-ups with several subject matter experts trainers and Industry experts to ensure our faculty are trained and assessed from time to time to keep up to date with Industry 4.0.
6. Hostels : what will be the changes in hostels and living conditions ?
Dhruv Galgotia: I feel hostels will need to be modifies to an extent of maximum one student per room to ensure privacy and social distancing is followed. The use of central air-conditioning will be contained and independent AC units will be installed in all rooms. Sanitation drives on regular basis in common areas and activity rooms with limited no of students will be implemented. Gyms and other activities involving more than 4-5 people will be avoided till situation gets better.There will be a need for continuous medical assessments in the hostel and 24/7 medical helpdesk for all students be made available to ensure a quick response incase a student develops symptoms of a disease.