Educators Are the Flag Barrier of the Future of a Nation - Prof. (Dr.) Maitreyi Ray Kanjilal

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1. Tell us more about your experience as an educator 

As an educator, my experiences have taught me a great deal of self-discipline, correct decision-making power, honesty, and skills of time management. Balancing numerous activities in a single day has provided me a lot of involvement with the prioritization of different accomplishments which made me self-efficient and self-dependent. 

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

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – A great saying from William Butler Yeats. It has been rightly said by Yeats. In my opinion, the education system should be student-centric rather than teacher-centric. The Indian education system concentrates more on getting information than on imagination. This may be helpful for the improvement of the memory of the student but does not encourage the students to be creative. Many students after passing from college, do not have the skills to get employment rather they need to be trained again for getting jobs. So, we need to apply knowledge and skill in a better way so that the students shall be able to understand its effectiveness in real-life situations. Children also should be given exposure to sports, yoga, culture, and arts. The education should give more focus on skill development rather than bookish knowledge depending on the student’s motivation. 

As per my views, I would recommend a few modifications to the existing system. 
  • Research & Development of the field is required to be more highlighted. The number of qualitative research outputs increase the acceptable level of a country on the basis of the international dimension. For that, more funding agencies, well-equipped R & D Lab, research infrastructure like Virtual Research Environment, Sufficient research grant, collaboration with renowned specialized Institutes, and student’s interest - all are essential to take more initiative to increase the potentiality of our R & D cell. 
  • Financial constraints in Higher Education sometimes create a great obstacle for a student to continue his/her study. That is why more financial assistance is required for those meritorious students who are unable to continue their studies due to financial problems. 
  • More job oriented courses on emerging subjects and vocational training should be widespread. The use of technology in every aspect of education may be adaptable to make teaching & learning more promising.
  • Progressive Education is all about our necessity. Besides this, course curricula have been up to date at per societal demand and student interest. Formative assessment is required to analyses students’ performance.
  • Moral education maybe incorporated for the social & cognitive development of a learner. 
  • Education system should be apolitical, transparent & the opportunity of education needs to be equal for all. 

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

In recent times, due to pandemic situation, teaching modes has been changed from offline to digital from primary level to higher level. Mostly, changes have been shown in conventional Learning Process, like: 

Using of different teaching aids like Audio Visual materials, Smart Board, projections, audio video lectures, use of PPT for demonstration, Hands on practices, Industry Visit and so on. More emphasizes are given on Personality development & assessment of students by group discussion, IQ Test, GK & Quiz test, communication abilities & so on. These all are the good initiatives to overall development of a learner. Use of Digital Platform for teaching & learning is going to be widespread. There are lot of changes occurred in Examination system, Question Patters, Marks Distribution and Course Curricula also for student interest. 

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

I believe that, education is starting from our own home and the main aims of education are Independence & Self-Reliance of a learner. Education is “the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or college or university”. But education is much more than that as Swami Vivekananda said “Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man”. Education assists to develop a child to grow up as a good & dynamic human being through language development, attitude development, personality development, biblical development, moral development, cognitive development & as well as intellectual development. These all are required traits to get an opportunity of a bright career. The ability of Decision Making, Team Working, practical work experience, Self-confidence, Responsibility, communication abilities, Honesty to the profession, moral values etc. all are continuously growing up through lifelong learning & that’s why education has no end to be a successful one. 

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

All us know that most noble profession goes to teachers. Teachers are the only one in the world who can make doctors, engineers, lawyers, scientists and all professionals. To me, it is not only the profession, rather than love & passion to nurture the learners mind by keeping them on right track to fulfilling their Career goals. It is not a target oriented job but a commitment towards the exalted Society. Recent Research in 2019 showed, that Teaching is one of the most stressful jobs. It’s quite true as educators are the flag barrier of the future of a nation. 

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

As I think, we are committed to effective teaching & learning for the overall development of an individual student, but only in the best convenient way. The time we are going through now shows that there are rapid changes in our daily life. We all should be tech savvy for our sustainable development as technology now becomes an integral part of every aspect of a life of human being. For education system Technology should be adopted in day to day classroom system to make it more effective & apart from the classroom, it would be giving its best potential outcome to reach out our students/ learners. All possible technological aids to be adopted to nurture a student’s mind like: 

  • Use of multimedia in slideshow presentations: Adding a variety of multimedia elements in slides could capture the attention of students for a long time. Colorful images, Short video clips, Graphs, Animations, Sound Tracks may be used for this purpose. 
  • Take students on a virtual tour: Virtual tours are an attractive way for digital teaching. Students get more interest for enjoying a virtual tour of learning rather than in offline teaching.
  • Use virtual manipulative: Mathematical concepts with the help of virtual manipulative allow students to understand complex concepts. Therefore, incorporating the use of virtual manipulative in classrooms is not only comfortable but also appeals hands-on learners as well. 
  • Teaching through Video modes: Watching videos helps the students in remembering key concepts longer than reading. It can be shared via Google drive, Google Classroom, zoom or YouTube right away.Sharing videos to classroom resonates with visual learners allow them to learn at their own intention. 
  • Gamification: Learning by playing is the best way to understand a complex concept for all age group students. When a complex concept is taught in the form of games, it sets the foundation right. So this is a good concept for understanding any complex problems. Gamification has many benefits for students as it boosts engagement, provides motivation through goal tracking, improves knowledge retention, promotes team building etc. 

There may be many other ways but these are the important ways for adopting technology in teaching. 

Teacher’s training is also very much essential for this purpose to use of technological aids for the convenient way to get the best output. But we need to keep in mind that the use of technology should never overwhelm the traditional education system, but should be associated with it to fulfill the goals of the educational institute. 

7. Why does India need more educators like you? 

According to my view, each educator has a strong vision that gives the right path to the students in their carrier. Educator has a long-lasting correct view which helps the students to think in the right and realistic way. The educator must be disciplined, self-confident, kind, patient and caring which spreads through students and help them to build a new nation. 

My best practices as an educator are 
  • Dedication to teaching,
  • Engaging with students’ learning,
  • Involvement in Research work,
  • Humble, kind, patience & showing empathy,
  • Have knowledge about learners by making a good communication with them, 
  • Adaptable & Positive in nature
  • Skills of time management.

As I believe, these all are essential traits of a good educator & I try to maintain these at every single moment. Apart from these, I am also a Life-Long Learner which keeps me up to date always. I love to be engaged with my students not only as a teacher but also their friend, philosopher & guide. These are at all, a student must require from their educator.

Prof. (Dr.) Maitreyi Ray Kanjilal
Narula Institute of Technology
(under JIS Group)

Interview By - Sandeep Virothu 

Educators Are the Flag Barrier of the Future of a Nation - Prof. (Dr.) Maitreyi Ray Kanjilal Educators Are the Flag Barrier of the Future of a Nation - Prof. (Dr.) Maitreyi Ray Kanjilal Reviewed by Sandeep Virothu on August 02, 2020 Rating: 5

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