Let’s re-imagine what needs to be done together
“One of our challenges is that while preparing students for the digital world, attention span has decreased. As teachers, we need to mentor students on how to process and analyse information judiciously. How can we implement this balance in class, curriculum, as well as in learning life skills & critical thinking skills?” said Ms Rajani Patil, Principal at Dosti Foundation School. Her challenge resonated with all the educators and counsellors in the room, leaving them all thinking harder about how to prepare themselves to make the most out of the post- COVID education ecosystem.
Curiosity Gym, a leading experiential learning edtech firm, hosted a roundtable discussion with preeminent principals, educators and thought leaders from Mumbai’s top educational institutions on 5th Aug 2022 at Novotel, Mumbai. This roundtable discussion focused on the important issues educators face in a post-COVID hybrid education environment and how to overcome those challenges.
The roundtable was highly interactive and provided a shared platform for education leaders to put forward their challenges of the school education ecosystem in the light of hybrid mode teaching, National Education Policy (NEP) implementation and inculcation of life skills in students. It was also an opportunity to network informally with thought leaders. The roundtable touched upon various essential aspects of the school education ecosystem. From instilling life skills within students to making sure they are aware of their abilities and interests to make an informed decision, it’s on us Educators to facilitate life lessons through our teaching/counselling interactions with students.
Top takeaways from the Education Leaders Roundtable:
- Developing life skills in students is an urgent need in this post COVID era
- Students are happy to be in school, but their mental framework has undergone drastic changes; therefore, the need for counsellors is more than before in school
- Co-curricular activities such as STEM, Robotics, and AI through which teachers can encourage students to not only strengthen their subject knowledge but also develop their life skills is important
- Educators need to proactively teach students how to process the consumed information and analyse it to make an informed decision, keeping their interests in mind
When asked about the challenges in a post-COVID hybrid education environment, “While some children have come back more resilient, many are also more sensitive post-pandemic”, said Ms Diana Marfatia, Principal, Avabai Petit School.
Life skills are given due importance while teaching the curriculum, often with the support of counsellors. Ms. Vandana Lulla, Principal, Podar International said. “Life skills are part of the curriculum. Can we call out the life skills we teach? How can we measure impact and have visibility of the outcomes? The best time to observe students is at lunch/break.”
Counsellors talked about how to help students navigate their interest areas and make an informed decision about their careers and life choices. “So as an educator/counsellor, how do we make sure of enabling students to make the most of their strengths? How can we enable them to explore more in what they are interested in – find their niche”, emphasised Dr Kimberly Dixit, CEO & Co-founder, The Red Pen, Education consulting company.
Participants also acknowledged that our students are more focused on academics; finding themselves in a rat race in this competitive world. Teenagers are influenced by social media, and often struggle with decision-making. Mrs Alice Barretto, Principal, Vissanji Academy, shared one example: “Teenagers face conflict amongst themselves, whether to please parents or just be a part of what their student communities are doing rather, than do what they really want to do”.