“Literacy Caters More to Career and Job, While Education Caters to Character - Building”- Srishti Bhatia.

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1. Tell us more about your experience as an educator. 

I teach undergraduates in University of Delhi. My experience as an educator has been extremely rewarding. I often start my first lecture as an ice-breaking session with my students, and get to know them better. This builds a lasting rapport with them, that lasts even after the class or semester ends. 

Towards the end of the academic session, my students write little handwritten notes and letters to me. One particular student wrote a poem for me and thanked me saying that “it is because of you that I realized that what happens inside the classroom can be as fun and enriching as what happens outside it. Thank you for showering that unstinting love that makes college feel like home.” 

I have had students tell me that they have fallen in love with the subject because of my classes. This, hands down, has been my biggest professional victory. 

2. What is your opinion of the Indian education system and how would you like to change that? 

I have been educated in India (particularly in University of Delhi). Most of the faculty in my under-graduation college (SRCC) were top-notch. Despite the infrastructural constraints, the quality of teaching-learning has been at par with top universities. But a major issue I feel with the system is the burgeoning class size in our universities. 

If there are 80+ students in a section, it’s not practically possible for the teacher to give individual attention to each and every student. That is a major setback in our system, and I hope that it gets addressed at the earliest. It acts as an impediment to effective student-teacher engagement. The student-teacher ratio should be kept at an optimal level of around 30:1, for better quality of the teaching-learning process. 

3. What changes in the teaching methodologies have you seen in the recent times? 

Because of the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the teaching-learning process has completely shifted online. Most educators, including me, are taking online classes over Zoom and Google Meet. I am leveraging technology to deal with this moment of disruption and uncertainty, and I’m setting on a new path by making use of the virtual delivery medium, in the field of education. 

Since the start of my career as an educator (even before the pandemic), I was taking up student assignments on Google Classroom, conducting online quizzes, grading them there itself, along with sharing and discussing case studies. So, the transition from offline to online mode of teaching hasn’t been sudden for me. But I surely miss the magic of in-person teaching and learning. 

4. How does education help one do well in their career? 

I think literacy caters more to career and job, while education caters to character-building. Education helps you build yourself and grow from within. A good education enables one to stand on their own feet and think for themselves. I think of education as a pathway for internal awakening and broadening of the mind. 

5. Do you think teaching as a profession is viewed at par with corporate jobs? 

I feel that it is very subjective. Personally speaking, I started my profession as an educator - by choice, not by chance. I chose to enter into the field of teaching, as I’m extremely passionate about it. Having graduated from Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), a lot of my peers questioned my choice to enter into the teaching profession and asked me why I turned down the lucrative placement offer that I had received from a certain “Big Four” company. 

In their eyes, I was making a huge mistake by opting out of a stable, well-paying corporate job. But I have never looked back, and I’m extremely proud of my decision till date. For me, teaching is my calling and I would suggest everyone reading this, to follow the path which they’re passionate about, rather than worrying about external factors (or what the society perceives as a good choice or not). 

The only thing one should consider is a “job-personality match”. I felt that my personality fitted well in a university environment, rather than in a corporate set-up. 

6. How can we adopt technology to make teaching more effective? 

Technology should be used a means to achieve an end. Do not use technology for the sake of using it. I think that technology is an aid for effective teaching process. I frequently make use of Power Points or Prezi, as I feel that audio-visual is a very strong teaching aid, because it increases students’ retention power, and also helps supplement my course content. 

Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Google Classroom are also quite useful for sharing content with students, or conducting online quizzes etc. The only mantra I use as an educator is: opt for technology if it adds value to your teaching. If you feel that “chalk and talk” is a better method for your course curriculum, then go for that. 

7. Why does India need more educators like you? 

Not just India, but the world needs educators. Good educators. For those, whom teaching is not just a job or a pay check, but is in fact their passion and vocation. We need educators to inspire, to enhance student engagement, to develop critical thinking skills in students, and to ultimately shape the future of our society. Because as Ivan Fitzwater says, “The future of the world is in my classroom today.”

- Srishti Bhatia.

Interview By -Anshika Sharma.
“Literacy Caters More to Career and Job, While Education Caters to Character - Building”- Srishti Bhatia. “Literacy Caters More to Career and Job, While Education Caters to Character - Building”- Srishti Bhatia. Reviewed by Anshika sharma on June 21, 2020 Rating: 5

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