The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) conducted its East Zone Vice-Chancellors’ Meet 2022-23 from December 13 to 14 which was hosted by the ICFAI University, Sikkim.
All the vice-chancellors of the universities of the eastern region took part in the meet to discuss major issues and challenges in the education system and the New Education Policy 2020.
The meeting also saw deliberations from many vice-chancellors on how to make the youth of the country skillfully educated, which is the need of the hour.
Prof. Prabha Shankar Shukla, the Vice-Chancellor of NEHU chaired the session on “Innovative Pedagogy and Lifelong Learning” in which Prof. Ganga Prasad Prasain, Vice-Chancellor, Tripura University; Dr. S P Singh, Vice-Chancellor of The Assam Royal Global University, Assam and Jeff King from Oklahoma University, USA were the speakers.
In his speech, Prof. Shukla said “Higher education is important for innovation and economic development. Most developed countries have high gross enrolment ratio in higher education. In the National Education Policy 2020, the target has been set as 50 per cent GER in by 2035. In about 15 years, we want to almost double the GER. And this is a challenge for us”.
He also exhorted on the point that “the future is about blended learning”, which is an appropriate mix of face-to-face and online provisions to teach and learn. Courses need to be re-designed to the new normal.
Prof. Shukla said that India’s SWAYAM platform is a leading government supported MOOC platform in the world. For online eContent development, VRDQ (video, Reading material, Discussion groups, Questionnaire) approach is generally recommended. Principles of eContent development especially should be followed. SWAYAM promotes the four-quadrant approach, which is exactly like the VRDQ approach.
“NEHU has already started the MOOCs centre and has a studio dedicated to the online lectures and teaching methods. Around 65 classrooms in NEHU have been upgraded to smart classrooms with latest ICT equipment to aid the students and the teachers,” he said.
He also mentioned that since the youth constitute more than 67 per cent of the Indian population, it is mandatory to design a curriculum that aids skill development of youth along with providing quality basic education. The present government emphasises on skill development and use of ICT for empowering the youth.
“To put the youth on par with the existing workforce around the world, NEHU has already implemented NEP 2020 for post-graduate courses and will implement it for UG courses in due course of time. The Digital India campaign has emerged as a synonym for technology revolution in India. To achieve the goals of Digital India Campaign i.e., Skill, Scale and Speed the use of ICT is the possible solution. The advancements in technology and the plethora of powerful and innovative digital devices and tools have a great potential to improve educational outcomes,” Prof. Shukla said.