HomeWord’s Worth

‘J&K did well during lockdown even with bad internet’

Education in Jammu and Kashmir was worse hit in the lockdown. But Prof Mustaq Lone, of Central University Kashmir tells a different story

Prof Mustaq Lone, Senior Assistant Media Studies, CUK

How did J&K meet the lockdown?
The Administration of Jammu and kashmir imposed strict lockdown inline with the guidelines issued nation wise. People of Jammu and Kashmir cooperated with the administration in the fight against Covid-19. The Schools , Colleges and Universities resorted to Online teaching and learning.

How were online classes conducted?
Online classes were conducted using Zoom and Google Classroom. Online examinations were conducted in the initial period of the pandemic. However some universities have now started to conduct offline examinations as well with all SOPs in place.

Am sure it has been a challenge?
Shifting from traditional teaching to sudden online mode has been a challenge for most of the students. However with passage of time students seem to be comfortable with online mode now. Internet speed has been a concern as highlighted by students at various forums.

How did Central University administration react?
It was very proactive to respond to challenges posed by Covid-19. However the Vice Chancellor alongwith senior professors of the Varsity came up with an idea to start online classes. Faculty members were asked to work from home and conduct classes. CUK conducted Viva Voce for research scholars in online mode. The University administration ensured that the precious time of the scholars and students is not wasted.

Apparently faculty was specifically trained?
The department of Management studies conducted a two week online research methodology workshop for research scholars of the social science disciplines. 100 hundred scholars from nine universities of the country participated in the online workshop. Resource persons from IIMs, TISS, IIM Ahmedabad, IIm Jammu conducted workshop sessions. Various departments of the varsity conducted webinars. Continuous assessments were also conducted online. The Vice Chancellor of the varsity applauded the faculty for their efforts during the pandemic. The heads of the teaching departments would share the weekly and monthly progress of teachers regarding online teaching with the vice chancellor. Unit wise details regarding classwork and e-content provided by each faculty with his/her students used to be shared by heads with the VC.

You think learning has not been affected?
Yes I am optimistic that students from jammu and kashmir would, despite all odds, appear for CAT exmas. Students from jammu and kashmir have been taking active part in all competitive examinations.

What about internet?
Two districts in jammu and kashmir are using 4G internet. Hopefully it would be restored in other districts of the UT as well.

What about internship?
Earlier Universities would send students for internships outside jammu and kashmir. Similarly students would mostly prefer to do their internships outside the UT. We are working on how to facilitate student internships online. Mostly students are interning from their homes.

Learning online was easy for the students?
I think each and every student of Jammu and Kashmir from LKG to PG is well versed with Zoom and Google classes now. The teaching fraternity has done a commendable job and parents have also cooperated with school, college and university administrations. It is pertinent to mention that two IT students from kashmir developed an application which would boost the internet speed and would help students to attend their classes. Students have been receiving econtent on wtsup as well.