Change Is Met With a Lot of Resistance - Cheryl Dias


Assistant Professor Cheryl Venan Dias is a HOD of Tourism Studies Department of S.S. Dempo Colleege of Commerce and Economics, Cujira, Goa

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

A balance between corporate and academia, 12 years in the tourism industry as a Senior Training Specialist, Manager, and Manager-Instructional Designer followed by 7 years in the academic arena teaching postgraduate programmes such as MA (Tourism and Heritage Management and Masters of Tourism and Travel Management as a head of the department of tourism studies at S.S. Dempo College of Commerce and Economics.

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

Indian education system still follows the colonists' attitude and approach. Gradual change towards value added teaching and learning methods are being made. More activities that involve both corporate and academia have to be promoted. One way would be for a teacher to take a sabbatical only to spend a year with the industry. One person cannot make a change, the whole system has to think right and move in the right direction. 

Moreover, the corporates look up to the academicians to prepare, plug and play employees, in reality it is not so, mostly because there is a rift between theory and practice. More professors of practice should be encouraged in the teaching world so that the need of the industry can be met.

Also Indian universities and institutions have to list themselves in international ranking protocols for example QS ranking and SIR. International student exchange should be encouraged not only at the university level but also at institutional levels. 

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

A move from stand up lecture mode, to more inclusive methods of teaching which has blended learning, what I mean by this is both classroom interactive student oriented sessions to off-classroom and online modes of teaching. And with the support of technology teaching now has a wider reach and span, online teaching has also moved from simple page turners to interactive story based learning, quizzes, management games, immersive case analysis and simulations.

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

For a sturdy home the foundation is utmost important, similarly to build a career a good educational base is the point from where the students can take-off. It also works as a launching pad for future work-force, education now promotes internships which gives the students a hands-on experience in the working world. 

Another aspect is respect for nature and people can be inculcated during the schooling and college days. Education plays a major role to mould the thought process of a student to be more benevolent and kind to people and nature. Once such students graduate they help reduce the toxic nature of the corporate world.

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

Teaching is a noble profession and cannot be compared with corporate jobs. Disparities still exist in the teaching world with regards to contractual and full-time roles, these have to be removed and a level playground has to be introduced which will make it at par with the corporate world. But all may not agree to this change. Change is met with a lot of resistance, the new educational policy should have more of these aspects covered.  

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

Due to the current pandemic, the teaching world has been suddenly catapulted to embrace technology. Software that teachers would never dream of using have now become a household name. Some that make it easy for teachers to record their lessons are OBS, Movie Maker and Ultimately the youtube platform to store such videos. Google offers many solutions to the teaching fraternity from online forms, google slides, jamboard, classrooms, google meet. 

While MS teams is a very useful software provided all teachers and students get their institutional emails set up. So some investments related to technology have to be made by the institution to enable the teacher to deliver their subject. Public utility system has to be revamped with good internet speed, connectivity and uninterrupted power supply.

7. Why does India need more educators like you?

India does not only need me, It needs an army of teachers like me. It would need more teachers who have spent at least two to four years in the corporate world before teaching the new generation, the demands and expectations of the generation X, Y and Z are quite high. Teachers need to reach out to the level of the students and energy even before setting out to teach. 

Interview by - Soniya Kauthanakar

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