HomeWord’s Worth

‘Lockdown has impacted learning and internships seriously,

Bluepencil.news got in touch with Dr BC Sharma in Jammu to know the effect of lockdown in India’s most beautiful state. Dr BC Sharma, known as the internship magician, believes learning took a backseat during the pandemic and students were left to bear the brunt.

Dr BC Sharma, Professor of Management and Dean Training, Placement, MIET Jammu

How did Jammu in particular react to the sudden lockdown?
All institutes in Jammu reacted positively to the lockdown. However, as you know learning is all about domain knowledge and personal development. While domain knowledge was parted without an issue, it is the personal skills that remained undone. Attending a college means peer group discussions and meeting, it means communications skills and interpersonal skills – these all were not catered to during the lockdown.

Did institutes go online soon enough to make sure lectures were not impacted?
Yes, faculty went online within days, all picked up the necessary skills soon enough. Even someone on my age managed to get online and conduct work.

What about the internet issue in J&K?
Yes, we have an issue. In Jammu, we do not have a 4G connection and so while faculty could get online swiftly, it is the students from some homes who faced a problem. Not all have broadband services. That is the same issue students face when they take exams online here, pages refuse to download often because of network speed.

How do you think the entrance exams are going to fare this time?
If you see the figures, CAt applicant numbers have been consistent since 2009, from 2.04 lakh to 2.09 lakh – somewhere in that region. It is unlikely that the figure will change. Don’t think the lockdown will make a difference to this, most applicants decide to take CAT much earlier,

How has the lockdown affected students in J&K?
Like I said earlier, while teaching has continued, there has been little other development. More than anything else, students are spending more of their time in front of a screen and that is working against them and leading to stress. They are not meeting their friends and classmates and that is not good for their development as people and managers to be. Group discussions are missing and that is very important to learning.

Internships have been affected badly this year?
Yes, they have been online and that is not what internships really are meant to do. Especially for students of J&K, internships are an opportunity for students to learn corporate culture, work in an office, know how processes work, politics within an office, mannerisms, attitude – all that is missing this year, Am sure students have learnt what they have to learn doing the online internship but the other learning which is equally important is not done.