As the global pandemic of Novel Coronavirus forced the institutions of learning, including schools and colleges to switch over to online education, a noted education expert expressed that this paradigm shift in the teaching model will throw up far-reaching societal, economic and behavioural challenges. During an interaction at ‘Instagram’ on Friday, noted educationist and co-founder of BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Sushi Singh emphasised on re-modeling learning tools to ensure inclusive learning, as the end of the pandemic was not yet in sight.
Drawing from her several decades in Education field, especially as CEO of Educomp Foundation, she said there was an urgent need to upgrade skills to suit the new system of education. ‘The pandemic has changed the centuries-old chalk and talk method to the digital mode. This imposed online education system has its both advantages and disadvantages. This prolong closure of schools and colleges will have far reaching societal and economic impacts,’ observed Dr Singh. She said as the online education system was here to stay, there was a need to develop education material more suitable for the purpose, and also train teachers for the same. She, however, added that the benefits of formal education, especially the sense of camaraderie and empathy developed through personal touch, could be lost through pursuing online education. On how she spent her time during lockdown in Mizoram, where her husband is the Director General of Police currently, Dr Singh said that she utilised the time to pursue a childhood passion.
‘The beauty, traditions and culture of Mizoram stoked my long-time desire to paint, and I got myself enrolled in the Aizawl Art Gallery, where I was the oldest student. ‘I maximised the potential of lockdown by coming out with a painting catalogue, which was launched on September 12 this year,’ she added. Titled ‘A timeless journey towards real freedom,’ the catalogue contains 35 paintings by her. For someone who considers ‘passion’ as the mantra in life, no task is impossible, expressed Dr Singh, who won accolades for her paintings as well, after straddling different professional fields, from education to corporate to philanthropy. Sharing her views on CSR activities in the post-pandemic world, Dr Singh, who is also the convener of Centre of Excellence in CSR and Sustainable Development at BRICS CCI, said the BRICS nations can lead the way in this sector and ‘dictate the global narrative of CSR by leading by experience’. She also stressed on exchange programmes in education and culture sectors among the BRICS nations, alongside economic and trade activities, as these were the ‘best unifying forces’.