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Report on Pathshala aLIVE!’s ‘Education Night Show’ on Educational Crisis During COVID-19

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On 15th August, a Pathshala aLIVE!’s creation, ‘Education Night Show’ organized their first episode. It is their new monthly phenomena where they invite leading educationists as guests, to talk on the issues that are critical to education in India. ‘Pathshala aLIVE!’ is an initiative by Behavioural Research and Innovation Community (BRIC), where they provide teachers and 2nd hand phones to the students who don’t have access to online education.

For their first show, they had invited Mr. Siddhesh Joglekar, Associate Vice president, marketing at BYJU’S; Pareena Lawrence, fellow at Yale University and a renowned name in higher education leadership in USA; Kuldeep Singh, a theatre in education expert associated with the reputed National School of Drama’s theatre in education company.

The host for the show was Rishab Tiwari, co-founder of BRIC. After introducing all the panelists, the host suggested for a little game where all the panelists including him would tell a childhood story from when they were in school, after which the audience would have to guess if the story told was true or false. After one round of storytelling, the host commenced the session with the first question. He asked the panelists to name one thing in their childhood which they didn’t have but want other children to have or what they did have and want other students to also have that.

Replying to this, Mr. Siddhesh said that it’s important for every student to have a teacher who makes you fall in love with a subject. Ms. Pareena said that there are various obstacles and barriers in everyone’s life. we need to use that barrier to feed our soul and rally against the obstacles. While doing so, it’s also important that we find a support system, people who are always ready to encourage us to follow our dreams. Mr. Kuldeep, agreed with both points stated by other panelists.

The host then moved on to the second question and asked the panelists that how can we create such a teacher for students, especially those in rural areas. Answering first, Mr. Siddhesh said that because of this pandemic, the status of digital education right now has been nothing short of revolution. With 90% population having no access to laptops, it is amazing to see how they are recording the lessons in their voices and sharing it on WhatsApp.

Ms. Pareena said that it is essential to understand and redefine the role of education. The teaching needs to be holistic. She also talked about the introduction of para teachers, who will be trained professionals working along side the teachers, taking care of the student’s emotional well-being, nutrition, environment at home, etc. Mr. Kuldeep said that there needs to be a teacher who can teach without the notebooks.

When asked what should be the training for the para-teachers, Ms. Pareena said the first thing is to get right people to join the movement. They need to understand the 360 development of a child. Psychology, theatre, performance should be incorporated into the means of teaching. Mr. Siddhesh said that while opting for online education, recording video and using technology is different than just recording and sharing the video. While recording a video, they need to think of it like creating a YouTube video and not blackboard teaching. Unlike blackboard teaching, here the attention span of students is just of 5 seconds.

Mr. Kuldeep said that the willingness and the passion of a teacher to teach students is important. He also suggested that we need to use the skills of retired teachers with 30-40 years of teaching experience to train the para teachers. He made an important point that there should be a focus on concept-based learning and not content-based learning. According to him, a teacher should have a zeal to teach and should be a lifelong risk taker.

Concluding the session, the host thanked all the panelist for being a part of the show and also thanked the audience for joining in.

Education Night Show is a ‘Pathshala aLIVE!’ creation, powered by Voice of Margin.

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