June 19 (IndiaToday) – Given how the pandemic is unfolding globally, in the second wave, it is clear that we are in this for the long haul and there is no easy or quick way out of this. First world and third world countries are all equally affected and we have to all think of radically new ways of living and working.
Teaching and learning processes and methods have also to be reinvented and redesigned to suit the current context, with the clear realisation that there are some clear silver linings in these clouds.
Whether it is school students or college students, the attitude should not be that this is temporary and we can wait this out. We have to assume that this is going to continue for the next 3 to 5 years and hence we have to go through this phase actively and cannot remain passive.
The time that is passing by is creating additional burden on students if they try to wait this period out. Precious time is being lost in this and we have to take the bull by its horns and show a pioneering spirit.
The following five touchstones can really help students in prioritizing what’s important and maximizing their potential during the Covid-19 lockdown:
1. Health first
There are enough tool-kits available from authentic medical experts/institutions on how to protect oneself from the Corona virus, print it and make posters out of it or save it as screen savers and constantly check if you and family members are abiding by it.
The younger age group has to take charge here and lead the way for older family members.
2. Structure next
It is imperative that each one of us create a timetable for each day of the week. Consider all weekdays as normal workdays with Sundays as your off day. Inform family members about your schedule and follow this schedule.
Learning needs to be more self-driven now as compared to how it was in pre-pandemic days. Make physical exercises a part of this routine.
3. The new social network
For long most social media platforms were meant for time-pass. Now is the time to harness these more for studies and learning and for professional/growth purposes.
Make or become part of study groups and work in small virtual groups using tools freely available online.
4. Online is normal
Engage with online platforms and tools focused at learning new skills, gathering information, networking with people who can help you grow professionally, seeking internships/jobs etc.
Remember, this is much more powerful channel/tool than any other that humanity has ever possessed before, so leverage it to the hilt.
5. Realise and rise
The world of education has changed. Whether governments like it or not, their control over what constitutes a “recognized” qualification, is rapidly changing, if not already changed.
Don’t worry if you do not get to go to the so-called ivy league schools or colleges. “Open learning” is the new norm and you can learn anything you want from anywhere, without worrying about pre-qualifications.
So, rise, gather yourselves and move. Remember, you are limited only by your own thoughts and nothing else.
– Article by Dr. Venkatesh Umashankar, Professor of Marketing, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon