Higher Education Must Meet The Challenges And Opportunities of COVID-19

Higher education must meet the challenges and opportunities of COVID-19
Preventing Coronavirus

One thing that we all began to appreciate since the Corona virus pandemic was the importance of the scientists and those who support them. It is clear to the world that there is no real way to control the situation unless there is a vaccine. Governments have struggled to address the need to minimize risk and death, and social distance has become a key aspect of this effort. Progress is being made, but it is often irregular and irregular, and there is always a risk of further infection spikes if we weaken too quickly or simply resume life before COVID-19 has arrived. The reality is that the way of behaving, interacting and doing business needs to change and there are already signs of a new normal appearance based on the need to be careful, vigilant and aware of the fact that everyone is Can get sickness and that everyone can spread it. However, it is imperative to return to some form of normalcy, as the disease remains a very real danger.
One sector that is seriously affected by the Corona virus is the university sector. Universities and universities have been closed, academic and support staff left behind for fear of their future, studies interrupted and exams canceled or postponed indefinitely. It is as if the pause button was pressed across the sector, but it is precisely this sector that offers scientists and others who are facing future crises. If you look at the higher education sector, it quickly becomes clear that the current paralysis does not necessarily have to be with a little imagination and that the learning of technical know-how can be continued. Traditional face-to-face classes have been granted, which we are all used to at the moment, but various technological platforms show that academics and students can interact in a controlled and professional manner. Hundreds of institutions around the world have already understood that they can justify their existence through online teaching, with staff viewing the process as a revelation. Of course there were some technical problems and teething problems, but once these are resolved, everyone involved seems to feel that the process is beneficial and, above all, to know that learning is being sustained and promoted.
Higher education learning

What are the challenges for such a process in India? Well, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is the psychological one in terms of resistance to change. Some academics and many members of the leadership and management team are not particularly tech-savvy and do not fully understand how online learning platforms work. There are understandable concerns about the need for training, development and the availability of adequate learning resources. These processes require extensive engagement. This means that employees consider which material is made available and how lessons or units develop along with learning objectives and assessment activities. Many employees have little or no experience with such learning processes and are therefore afraid of being exposed to this process. Everyone has to get involved in heuristic learning: learning through action and the overtime or hostility to overtime disappears, and iterations can often occur. What do more institutions discover that can develop units and courses that can easily be offered to students who for some reason prefer distance learning? With planning and monitoring, adequate checks and balances and, of course, data protection measures, etc., there is the potential to develop a learning method that is experiencing exponential growth in large parts of the world.

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For this learning to be effective in India, it is important that all students have access to the learning platforms. This can lead to tablets and other devices becoming a standard learning tool that is made available to all students and, if applicable, all students. integrated into the tariff structure. Instead of considering this technology as a cost, it must be viewed as a resource that facilitates and optimizes learning. The internet connection, which is an integral part of the economy, needs to be improved and consolidated.
In this context, some questions need to be asked at each university:
1) What learning is available online?
2) What plans are in place to develop online learning?
3) How often are employees trained to support the introduction of online teaching?
4) What funds have been allocated for the development of online learning? If not, why not?
5) What is being done to guarantee all students access to the online learning platform?
6) What lessons are learned from international activities?
7) Who are the changes in online learning in the institution and are they adequately supported?
8) What are the main concerns related to online learning and how can they be addressed?
9) Are various stakeholders consulted to ensure that the system works efficiently and effectively?
10) What mechanisms exist to protect IT systems from viruses and hackers?
11) Can I save time and resources by holding multiple meetings through online meeting platforms?
12) How is online learning recognized and celebrated?

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There are currently real opportunities for innovation, not only for the pandemic, but also for the future. The most forward-looking institutions have already recognized that this is a unique opportunity to engage in positive changes to ensure that the sector is relevant and dynamic. Nobody says it's easy, but it can definitely be exciting. When people accept changes and adapt to them, extraordinary things happen. Now is the time to tap into the country's vast IT talent to ensure it becomes transformative in higher education and beyond. A silent and relentless revolution is underway, which will broaden all our horizons on what learning and indeed the world of work can become. If we look further, we will see that resistance is futile, changes are already underway. It's just that the situation with the Corona virus has speeded things up. Nobody should doubt that there will be challenges, but the simple fact is that the opportunities far outweigh them.

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