The NEP 2020, in many ways, is a validation of the philosophy we have been espousing and following for decades, says Aditya Berlia, Joint Secretary, Apeejay Education Society in an interview with Elets News Network (ENN).
Apeejay Education Society is one of the eminent groups in the country. How it has helped students and parents during the pandemic?
Within 48 hrs of the lockdown, we were able to resume virtual classes, and within a few days, we were able to run the full-time table and syllabus for our students along with all exams. These were difficult and harrowing times for all stakeholders, and we were fortunate to have parents, students, and alumni who support the creation of a learning environment and have a long-term vision of education. Our staff reached out to those who were struggling due to the digital divide, and we were able to provide them with access to technology in their homes. The mental health and well-being of our students have always been our number one priority, and we modified our syllabuses to be able to provide them with activities, including physical education virtually.
What will be the impact of NEP 2020 on school education in the long-run?
The NEP 2020, in many ways, is a validation of the philosophy we have been espousing and following for decades. We wholeheartedly support its immediate implementation. The policy, while revolutionary for India, essentially allows the country to catch up to best practices already in place across the world and lays the foundation for a new 21st Century education. The policy will not only allow students to access a higher level of knowledge; it will free educators from the shackles of cookie-cutter and narrow-minded thinking. The change has been more than three decades in the making, and it uplifts our entire education eco-system to being one of the most enlightened and progressive in the world. We are excited to be able to extend our world-class bench marked curriculum into higher classes and seamlessly fit into the greater regulatory eco-system.
After the pandemic, how the group is planning to bring back students to the classroom?
The safety of all stakeholders is our number one priority. We are working with experts, regulators, and the government to ensure we have an action plan that puts safety first and can manage and mitigate risk properly. We are delighted to see the worldwide positive results of vaccines and hope schools should be able to return to normal within six months or less.
How has the school employed new age innovations as modern learning aids?
Our focus on virtual learning and investments in innovative infrastructure allowed us to move entirely virtual within a few days of the lockdown. It has validated our digital backbone and digital-first strategy, as well as our continuous teacher training and development. The most significant development has been the new acceptability of digital learning and new pedagogy among our stakeholders. It has allowed us to accelerate the deployment of many innovative practices that earlier were taking time to gain acceptability. We measure success by looking at the outcomes, and we are optimistic, given the data on learning that has started to come in.