TEZU, Aug 17: Two hundred and ninety secondary school teachers from Lohit and Changlang districts are participating in an online teaching and learning programme which began here in Lohit district on Monday.
The programme is being organized by the IBM STEM for Girls (India), in collaboration with Quest Alliance and NGO AMYAA.
The closure of schools and other educational institutes owing to the pandemic and the lockdown has raised concerns over whether students would be able to continue their learning virtually, and whether schools can help facilitate the transition for the students.
While online learning has brought the digital divide to the fore, it has also opened up possibilities of doing things differently, up-skilling, re-skilling, and bridging the gap between the educators and the learners.
The programme was inaugurated by Education Secretary Niharika Rai, in the presence of Changlang DC Dr Devansh Yadav, Lohit DC Prince Dhawan, and others.
It is aimed at training the teachers how to use platforms like Gmail, WhatsApp, Facebook Live, Telegram, YouTube, Google Classroom, Google Meet, etc, and introducing them to technologies like audio conferencing and IVRS.
“We can’t shy away from the use of technology. Rather, we will have to up-skill ourselves to be able to use them,” Rai said in her inaugural address. She expressed appreciation for the DCs of the two districts for taking the initiative, and urged the teachers to try to engage with students using online platforms.
“On the last day, we will plan together with the teachers the next steps, and start virtual classes with students of both the districts, ensuring that no student is left behind,” said Dr Yadav.
Dhawan thanked the AMYAA, Quest Alliance and the IBM for collaborating with them, and requested the teachers to “take this optimistically, and see which platforms will be most suited for the teachers to connect with students.”
The IBM’s India and south Asia CSR head Manoj Balachandran in his address said, “The core purpose is to put technology and design-based thinking at the forefront, and it starts with education,” while Quest Alliance CEO Aakash Sethi emphasized that “it is important to focus our energies on girls and ensure that they stay connected with the learning process, since they are even more vulnerable now. With support from IBM STEM for Girls, we will be able to build a learning model for the future.”
“Online learning is the future of the students, based on their context and situations. As educators of the 21st century, we need to get ourselves equipped and updated,” AMYAA secretary RK Chawang Paul said.
Quest Alliance associate director Neha Parti also spoke.