Bhubaneswar: As applications for awards under the 4th edition of Brands of Odisha Pride of India are being registered; we bring you an excerpt from an interview with the founder of Zindagi Foundation and Chairperson of Adyant Higher Secondary School Ajay Bahadur Singh who works to provide quality education to underprivileged students who aspire for careers in Medical science.
Online classes have been much in-talk since the Covid-19 pandemic broke. What are your views on that?
Earlier, very few institutions provided online classes. But the pandemic gave a whole new facet to the ‘online-classes’ system as a number of institutions started practicing it. Whoever found access to technology had the privilege of continuing their studies through an online medium. However, a handful of those who were entirely dependent on classroom education had to suffer.
What is the future of Online Classes?
People usually don’t worry much about things they don’t have an idea about. Since we are all aware of the perks of online classes now, this method of education is going to remain in practice in the long run. Once the pandemic is over, students will return to their classrooms where the teacher-student interactions would be different from those in online classes. But, end-of-the-day, online classes and classroom education will co-exist.
Why do you think students from government schools have not been provided online class facilities?
I will share my personal experience. Work pressure brings change. We were under immense pressure to find a way out to carry on with the classes. As the chairperson of a higher secondary school, I collaborated with employees from various departments to arrange for the online classes for the students. It was an 18-19 hours effort on daily basis. There were meetings with the guardians daily. With all those efforts, our centre became the first one to begin live-classes. Perhaps, government schools don’t get to deal with such pressure.
What challenges teachers are going through under these changed circumstances?
All these years, I had been using my smartphone simply for calling purpose. But during the pandemic, necessity motivated me to learn how to carry out several tasks through a smartphone. I learnt to operate Zoom calls too. So, teachers will have to develop a sense of curiosity towards technology now that they are providing online classes. That will make a lot of things easier for them.
What are your plans regarding Zindagi Foundation?
Last year, 19 students from the foundation cracked competitive exams. This year, 21 students have been selected. Considering the ongoing pandemic, they are being given online classes. However, we are looking forward to bringing them to our foundation once situations get normal.
What is your opinion on ‘Brands of Odisha Pride of India.’
This initiative has motivated many to develop as a brand. The effort that the Sambad Group puts to felicitate the brands born in Odisha every year is exemplary. There are two very important things in life- wealth and honor. Every enterprise has wealth. All they seek is honor. So, I appreciate the ‘Brands of Odisha.Pride of India’ initiative for providing them that.