आत्मानं सततं रक्षेत् (One must save oneself under any circumstances) is a famous quote by Swami Vivekananda. We all in academics did that under the COVID-19 circumstances to save ourselves from stagnancy, by embracing the online mode of teaching and learning.
Interestingly online education, distance mode of education, and learning through correspondence were earlier part of the non-formal education system but today the above mode of teaching and learning is being adopted by the formal education system too. Globally adaptation to the wave of change brought by COVID-19 has become the new normal. How long would this continue, that just depends on the solution scientists would decode to trash the virus! Duration of this new normal may call for change in the definition used for a long, to classify formal and non-formal education. What if the division between both the type of education (formal vs non-formal) based on the mode of teaching and learning, gets blurred! I am thrilled by the idea of more than analyzing its outcomes! Would it be really and only bad? Or there is some good in it as well? The answer lies only in the future.
What is happening at present on the academic front? In my attempt to respond to this I would like to say what the Great Greek Philosopher Cicero, said once, “Summum bonum” which in Latin means the “highest good”. Talking about the present scenario, dealing with the COVID-19 crisis was made possible by technology, by online teaching, was there any better way than this to ensure continuity and overcome stagnancy? Teaching and learning via Zoom (or any online platforms) is the highest good, the thing at this point. Online teaching and learning made possible using the online platforms have the capacity to radically revolutionize the education system, and I presume, it will be for the “highest good” of every stakeholder involved. So I think what has happened in our attempt to adapt and move on is “Good” and what is going to happen in future due to technological development, let’s hope it will also be “Good”.
Dr. Madhurima Deb
Associate Professor (Marketing)