Prof KG Suresh, the Vice-Chancellor of the Makhanlal Chaturvedi University, stated the need of the hour is to create a culture of online education for bridging the gap of the digital divide. Speaking on the occasion of the first edition of SMX India Communication Summit 2021 as one of the eminent speakers for the session of ‘Impact of the Pandemic on Media and Communication Education’. Prof Suresh stressed the intra-affiliation with colleges for student benefit as well as the colleges.
SMX India Communication Summit 2021 aimed to examine and explore the trends, patterns and practices emerging in Media, Communication and Entertainment industries. The summit was organised by InnoServ, ORAI, ASMA and ASENTREK Globals. Adamas University, Kolkata was the knowledge partner. It was a series of webinars spanned over 2 days, from 4th to 5th March 2021. Each day of the summit focuses on analysing the mounting trends and practices, in the specialised fields of media.
Prof. Suresh had an immense contribution to regional language journalism when he was the DG of IIMC. He introduced Marathi, Malayalam Journalism from its Amravati, Maharashtra and Kottayam, Kerala campus respectively. When he was the Senior Consulting Editor of Doordarshan News he introduced a new program such as ‘Speed News’. Being on the road of media for the last two decades Prof. Suresh is Visiting Professor/Course In charge of Communication Skills at the Special Centre for Disaster Research at JNU, Adjunct Professor with the Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research. He had received the Prem Bhatia Fellowship. He was designated Commonwealth Youth Ambassador for Peace by Commonwealth Youth Programme, Asia. In December 2017, Prof Suresh was awarded the PRSI Leadership Award, the highest award for outstanding contribution to the Public Relations profession, at the 39th All India Public Relations Conference at Visakhapatnam. He is also a TEDx Speaker, and he was a member of the prestigious feature film jury & non-fiction jury of Indian Panorama 2018 & 2017 respectively for the International Film Festival of India.
What can the New Education Policy offer?
Prof Suresh said that education was a different ball game for the last seventy years. “It is really difficult for people of our country to contemplate on academic credit bank. We live on a grey island, wherein we get to see parents decide their child’s profession and further poverty line and illiteracy adding to the owes. We, Indians cannot even think of a student pursuing medicine along with the music. We are encircled by our scruffy colonial values that an engineering student has nothing to do with humanities and vice versa. So, the implementation of the NEP (New Education Policy) is really a challenging one.”
Teachers and the Digital Divide
In his discussion, he mentioned a few senior professors who were technologically challenged in the pre-pandemic era. But they have now adapted to the new situation and taking digital classes over the web. He said, “We have to prepare a culture of online education and bridge the gap.’’
Innovation is the Key in the Post-COVID-19 Times
Prof Suresh said the faculty has to bring innovations in order to make it more interactive because a student who is dealing with difficulty in gadgets, networking issues, electricity, is also participating in the class from a distance. He is calling for greater collaboration between universities. He said, “Why cannot a student of JNU, who is located in Kerala, cannot take classes from Kerala University if he wants to do the same?”
Survival in the Digital Divide
Prof Suresh proposed a solution, “If nationwide, there is an intra-college collaboration, we can surely survive this digital divide together. Sharing our collective skills will decrease the rate of illiteracy and college dropouts in the post-COVID-19 era.” Spreading education to all and the betterment of students are of prime importance, in any education policy. Prof Suresh signed off on a positive note by saying, “I hope, we shall overcome, someday.”
The author, Ankur Datta is associated with Adamas University Media School.