AP colleges’ Big switch to Digital

Digital Learning

    One would imagine that the education sector i.e. colleges and universities would have been one of the most adversely affected sectors in the COVID-19 pandemic.

    With the pandemic coming right in the bang of college examinations and with campus recruitments around the corner things couldn’t have been worse for them.

     Well not quite, if one goes by how colleges in AP have managed to navigate this pandemic. From conducting online classes to holding digital mock interviews most institutes have made a seamless transition online.

     “We’ve handled the situation quite well. Online classes have been very successful both for our students and faculty’ said Prof K Siva Rama Krishna, Vice Chancellor, GITAM deemed to be University speaking to Vizag Industrial Scan.

   Amidst the lockdown GITAM deemed to be university has conducted a series of development programs for its faculty on the use of digital tools and has trained 1500 of its faculty in 3 batches over a two week program.

   And wanting to push the digital drive further GITAM deemed to be university has collaborated with ‘Coursera’ a worldwide online learning platform.

   “We’ve invested heavily in our technology. We’ve bought 20,000 licenses costing us about Rs. 12 crores per annum just so that our students and faculty are best equipped to deal with the situation” said Prof. K Siva Rama Krishna.

As soon as the lockdown was declared we instructed all private engineering colleges to migrate to their digital platforms. I would estimate that around 3 lakh engineering students just in AP alone moved to the online/digital learning platform during the lockdown period.

Mr Dadi Ratnakar, General Secretary AP Private Engineering colleges Management Association.

    “As soon as the lockdown was declared we instructed all private engineering colleges to migrate to their digital platforms. This ensured that students schedules weren’t majorly affected. I would estimate that around 3 lakh engineering students just in AP alone have moved to the online/digital learning platform during the lockdown period” said Mr Dadi Ratnakar, general secretary AP Private Engineering colleges Management Association.

    Many colleges are conducting/conducted examinations online too.

   “We are holding our mid-term examinations online. From May 25th to June 13th mid exams are being conducted online” said Dr P Venkat Rao, Dean Training and Placement, GVP college of Engineering who is also the president of APTPO consortium.

    Dr Venkat says that Professors and students have adjusted very well to the digital transformation.

    Concurs AVANTHI’s Dr Ganesh “We are conducting some classes thru zoom and go to webinar, with classes duration being two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening.

    Dr Ganesh further states that assignments too are being given thru web portal and that virtual labs are being conducted for experiments.

    Now if teaching and learning is being well taken care of how are colleges and universities handling campus placements.

    ‘We are conducting online interviews. There has been a good response to our on campus recruitment digitally’ said Prof Siva Rama Krishna.

    GVP’s Dr Venkat says that his college is conducting digital mock interviews so that its 3rd year students get a virtual experience of an actual interview.

    “Infosys recently conducted a competition ‘Hack with Infy’ wherein 1300 students from AP cleared round 1 and 84 students were from Gayatri engineering college(GVP)” said Dr Venkat.

Way Forward

   On the way forward Mr Ratnakar says that it will be a while before things come back to normal.

    “At least for the next 1 year colleges will have to adapt to the new normal and work out new ways of functioning such as reduced class strength, conducting more online classes, may be a mixture of in classroom and online classes etc.” said the general secretary AP Private Engineering Colleges  Management Association.

    And on the courses that may witness more demand now (given the situation) Dr Venkat opines that going forward demand for B Tech in AI and ML and B Tech in computer science and data science will increase significantly. More focus will be on robotics going forward he stated.

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