Teaching online has become the norm, all credit goes to the pandemic. Courses are conducted online, examinations are conducted online, assignments are submitted through email. This serves as the best opportunity for countries like India to push the internet infrastructure, even to the rural areas. Every village and town in India should be digitally connected for better interaction between the students and teachers. Institutes like IITs have “a sort” of infrastructure to connect students but the experience shows that not all students had good interaction due to various reasons. Every student has his/her own pace of adapting to this system, and thereby, India should establish a good infrastructure for online education like some of the advanced countries. The greatest advantage of such a system is education can become international. Advanced institutes like IITs and NITs can globalize online education while Universities, initially, nationalize online education. Fundamental structural changes should be made in the curriculum/syllabi and programs should be popularized to attract students across the countries. Skill development should be part of the curriculum in Engineering and science degree programs. This will create future entrepreneurs. This is one way to beat unemployment and increase business skills amongst the youth. The business community should play a leading role in this new educational system.
The management and the faculty make up to the core strength of the current education system. With a thorough chance to adapt to the latest trend, and give up on mundane teaching techniques is a must. The faculty should establish themselves as “competent” individuals who can deliver what the students expect. To establish faultily should be active in research and research publications and gain experience /skills in online teaching. In a way, the learning institutes become virtual institutes. Every student’s home becomes his institute. This will reduce the demand for the infrastructure of the institute. However, research labs should function as usual to support research. Research collaboration can go online and can be internationalized.
Post Covid-19 is an opportunity to transform the higher education system. Institutes/ universities should utilize this opportunity to transform itself. Curriculum design, collaborations, skill development, and faculty involvement —all should focus on internationalizing higher education. Today it is COVID-19…we don’t know what lies ahead in the future for the million youngsters, so it’s better to be prepared than regret later.