Elets Exclusive | Dr Swati Mujumdar calls to integrate skills in education

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Dr Swati Mujumdar

The Coronavirus pandemic is the defining global health crisis of the time and greatest challenge, mankind has faced since World War-II. Since its emergence, the virus has spread to every part o the globe, and cases are rising daily in India. The Indian govt has declared a complete lockdown across the nation till May 3, 2020, to curb the menace.

From end-March, most firms have resorted to one of these three decisions—sacking people, asking employees to go on leave without pay, and pay cuts. Emotional and distressing emails about jobs and wage cuts were dispatched from their corner rooms by CEOs to employees, some of whom had worked in the same firms for decades. The skill-oriented jobs will be in demand after the COVID-19 crisis. The small skilled jobs are high risk over the crisis.

During a webinar with Elets Technomedia and digitalLEARNING Magazine, Dr Swati Mujumdar, Pro-Chancellor, Symbiosis Skills & Professional University on “Developing skill-oriented learning for better future”, said Symbiosis Skills and Professional University, Pune is first of its own kind and the university has over 40 thousand students from 82 countries. We don’t decide the courses of our own, we decide it according to the industry needs. It is the skills that a student acquires during his education which is more important than a mere degree. The varsity imparts 70 percent of its teaching through hands-on practical based pedagogy. It offers sector-specific programs including retail, data science, arts, automobile, architecture, logistics, arts, construction etc. University works closely with the industry through joint training programs.”

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She also said, there must be a social acceptance of the skill-oriented courses rather than conventional degree courses.

She said it’s high time to integrate skills in the education sector which will be beneficial for the students.

He also said every year students are put to two months internship and six months last year, which provided them almost one year of hands-on industry experience.

Over shifting to online classes Dr Mujumdar said “We continue our focus on Excellency in teaching and added skills to our routine. For existing students, we have started online classes. The academic calendar has been shifted to online. Parents and students have well received it. For new students we have shifted our admission process to online, from virtual campus tour to faculty sessions for students. We have also started ‘Chai with parents’ and ‘Chai pe Charcha’ with students to address the queries. “

She also said virtual classes cannot replace physical learning.

She even said the university started e-internships for students so that they can work it out in their homes.

We have developed technology which helps us to take online tests without any fuss, she added for exams.

Over teachers, she said the role of the teachers have changed drastically and now they are facilitators. The teachers need proper training to cope with the ongoing change in technology.

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