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COVID -19 Era Education:Warriors surmount challenges

Coronavirus phase Education: "Rally of Hope" on August 9 set to infuse extra zeal among teachers : By Neeraj Bajpai & Devsagar Singh

COVID -19 Era Education: Education warriors – Teachers-surmount challenges
COVID-19′ s IMPACT on education is much-debated subject globally amid the raging impact of the Coronavirus pandemic which has claimed over 700,000 lives across the world so far while the future of millions of students is at stake, but education warriors, teachers, are trying to turn the calamity into an opportunity to pave ways for the robust hybrid education format.
A galaxy of educationists from various parts of the world took part in a webinar specially cut out to deliberate at length the pandemic’s impact on education in the COVID era.
Bhubaneswar Kalita
A  prominent lawmaker and member of India’s parliament upper house, Rajya Sabha, Bhubaneswar Kalita of the  BJP, hailed the role of the education warriors during the unprecedented crisis. He said the besides health, the education set up was impacted in the worst way during the pandemic. According to him, the crisis is the world over and the united nations have flagged the issue in a big way. He is also the Chairman of the IAPP, SOUTH ASIA.(COVID -19 Era Education/COVID -19 Era Education/COVID -19 Era Education
The seminar on COVID -19’s impact on education was moderated by Krishna Adhikari, UPF’s, Secretary-General, UPF   India.

Krishna Adhikar

Experts spoke at length in the webinar, organized by “IAAP-India on the theme” COVID-19  Impact on Education: The way Forward “.

 

“International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAPP)” is an initiative of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), which is an NGO in General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

 

IAAP  is a forum academician from all over the world to bring their experience and wisdom to bear in the search for solutions to our world’s problems.

 

Experts from around the world offer their remarks on the importance of their work and the value of increased cooperation and collaboration in the search for innovative solutions to some of the critical issues that Nations face on the local, national, regional and global levels, from climate change to the rise of extremist ideologies to humanitarian disasters.conflict and education.

Dr. Robert S Kittel
Dr. Robert S Kittel, Director of Peace Education, UPF, the Asia Pacific who joined from Manila, said that the world was passing through a major crisis that has ripped open stark realities of the society and global community and very sincere efforts were warranted to stem the rot. He gave a detailed account of the forthcoming “Rally of Hope’, being organized by the UPF  with an expected involvement of one million people on August  9.
Professor  PB Sharma
Professor  PB Sharma, a well-known educationist, and Vice-Chancellor, Amity University, Gurugram, said the peace was one of the main pillars of the education and teachers must inculcate these values into students so that the world’s peace could not be jeopardized in want of proper education.
He was of the view that the education which can not infuse a culture of compassion and human values had no meaning. He quoted several Sanskrit slokas to lace his point and said the pandemic had thrown open floodgates of digital learning and a whole lot of new generation to cope with new normals has been created.

The power of digital learning is immense and it had the infinite potential to significantly enhance both the access as well as quality and relevance of education at all levels from School to Universities.  Further, the use of digital learning is easy and least expensive as is evident from the ease with which the online classes have been conducted by teachers in India, whether at school or college or at a university level.

India with its connectivity deeply penetrating in urban as well as rural areas has a great opportunity to address the long-pending demand for improving quality as well as the relevance of education and giving a major boost to human excellence, said Prof Sharma, Vice-Chancellor who had also been the Founder Vice-Chancellor Delhi Technological University DTU.

(COVID -19 Era Education/COVID -19 Era Education/COVID -19 Era Education)
He said unless the education is not juxtaposed with good governance, the purpose of the national building could not be accomp[lished in the desired way. He did not mince words to say that governance without integrity had no meaning.
Professor Shashikala Wanjar
Professor Shashikala Wanjari, VC, SNDTW’s  University of Mumbai was impressively eloquent while articulating her views. She said the peace of mind and global peace was the real currency to keep the world moving on the wheel of morality and values. She made her point for the promotion of healthy virtues in society through education. Her crisp address was punctuated with several sayings in scriptures. She quoted several shlokas in chaste Sanskrit to press home her points.
Professor SP Singh,
Professor SP Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Royal Global University, Guwahati was of the firm perception that the current crisis had thrown a slew of challenges to the education sector, but the education warriors had overcome issues like paucity of digital resources, poor connectivity, and many other things.
The crisis has resulted in a mega opportunity, he said and pointed out that India had now experts of hybrid education like experts both in the physical classes and digital education. He said it was not a facile task but ” we have shown how new ways can be crafted during the crisis.
Dr. Singh, who hails from Lucknow and has vast experience in the education sector’s both teaching and administrative wings laced his forceful presentation with Urdu couplets and said Tsunami of webinars and digital classes had created a huge bank of warriors in the education field to cope up with toughest challenges- come what may!
Informatively, The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption to education in history and prolonged school closures could further entrench inequalities in access to learning, the UN Secretary-General said recently, underlining the need for “bold steps” to address the crisis.

Mr. Kalita, BJP quoted UN chief and said The UN estimates that the pandemic has affected more than one billion students worldwide. Despite efforts to continue learning during the crisis, including through delivering lessons by radio, television, and online, many are still not being reached.

He said, amid growing despair and depression following the deadly pandemic unleashed by the unsparing coronavirus, An unprecedented virtual rally of a million people, commonly known as “The Rally of Hope” will be held on August 9, 2020, for the Realization of a Heavenly Unified World of Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity, and Universal Values.”

The virus has infected 18.48 million and killed 699,000 globally till today besides growing tension among nations on a slew of issues including border and trade mattes.

The rally will be held from Seoul at 9:40 AM (Korean time) onwards. According to organizers here today, scores of people have already enrolled for the rally, in which they envision timely solace in the contemporary crisis time.

Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of the Universal Peace Federation and host of the Rally, will give her keynote address.

Organizers have said: Despite material advances and the amassing of unprecedented wealth, serious global problems remain unsolved. This is all the more striking when it is seen alongside worldwide efforts to maintain peace, resolve conflicts, and end poverty by major international peace-keeping bodies, public and private.

The UN chief said learners with disabilities, members of minority or disadvantaged communities, as well as refugees and displaced persons, are among those at highest risk of being left behind.

Even those students who can access distance learning face challenges, as success depends on their living conditions, and other factors such as the fair distribution of domestic duties.

Mr. Kalita was of the opinion that the education warriors had delivered but physical presence could not be replaced by digital learning. He also appreciated the  recently announced education policy and pinned lot of hopes on the policy for the betterment of education
Describing education as “the key to personal development and the future of societies”, António Guterres has issued recommendations recently to get children back in the classroom in a policy brief launched alongside a new global campaign called Save our Future.

“As the world faces unsustainable levels of inequality, we need education – the great equalizer – more than ever,” he said in a video message.

“We must take bold steps now, to create inclusive, resilient, quality education systems fit for the future.”

Looming potential catastrophe

A learning crisis existed even before the pandemic, the Secretary-General said, as more than 250 million children were out of school.

Furthermore, only a quarter of secondary school children in developing countries were leaving school with basic skills.

“Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities,” said Mr. Guterres. “The knock-on effects on child nutrition, child marriage, and gender equality, among others, are deeply concerning.”

© UNICEF/Daniele Volpe
Children work from home in Guatemala following guidelines received from the Ministry of Education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Back to school

The policy brief calls for action in four key areas, starting with the re-opening of schools once local transmission of COVID-19 is under control.

The UN chief also called for greater investment in education, as low- and middle-income countries had already faced an annual funding gap of $1.5 trillion prior to the pandemic.

“Education budgets need to be protected and increased,” he said.

“And it is critical that education is at the heart of international solidarity efforts, from debt management and stimulus packages to global humanitarian appeals and official development assistance.”

Education initiatives must also seek to reach those at greatest risk of being left behind, he continued. They also should be sensitive to the specific challenges faced by girls and boys, and women and men, while also addressing the digital divide.

Quality education for all

For his final recommendation, the UN chief highlighted what he sees as the “generational opportunity” to deliver quality education for all children, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 17 goals, which world leaders adopted five years ago, provide a pathway to a more sustainable future that benefits both people and the planet.

“To achieve this, we need investment in digital literacy and infrastructure, an evolution towards learning how to learn, a rejuvenation of life-long learning and strengthened links between formal and non-formal education,” said Mr. Guterres.

“And we need to draw on flexible delivery methods, digital technologies and modernized curricula while ensuring sustained support for teachers and communities.”

END

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