What exactly is education? This is a complex question with several answers. It is the process of learning knowledge, skills, values, and habits, according to some. "Education is the manifestation of the perfection existing in men," Swami Vivekananda correctly stated. "Education is the essential tool for the growth of consciousness and the rebuilding of society," Mahatma Gandhi declared. Recent policy and decision-making actions, on the other hand, appear to contradict this view, as they appear to be intended at returning India to the dark ages.
Education is a journey that teaches the art of living, not just how to make a living. It teaches us how to take care of ourselves and be more creative. We gain a better understanding of our conflicts as a result of education. As a result, education is more than just memorising information; it is also about teaching our minds to think. Every individual should have the opportunity to learn via experience, and education systems should aid in the development of critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. The education system in India, on the other hand, has evolved in a completely different way. Our pupils are forced to learn by rote rather than focusing on critical thinking, expressing new ideas, arguing, and writing critically on any matter.
With the globe confronting the most difficult crisis it has ever faced in the form of a pandemic, traditional educational methods are no longer viable; we are compelled to conduct all teaching and learning activities online. In some ways, technology has rescued us, and educators have efficiently used it to avoid stifling the flow of information.
Given that this shift is here to stay, the UGC has advised all higher education institutions to implement blended learning, in which up to 40% of a course can be taught online and the other 60% using traditional, offline means.
Blended learning is combining digital and conventional teaching methods to make the overall process more efficient. It will have no impact on instructors' workload. On the one hand, students are virtually connected to their teachers, while on the other hand, the teacher uses technology to engage students in a live, interactive classroom. The main goal is to make learning not only effective, but also enjoyable, fascinating, and challenging for the learner.
Students would be better prepared for a technologically driven environment if they learned in a hybrid style. It also saves expenses and maximises savings for an institute from a pure administrative and financial standpoint. It gives students and teachers more flexibility—students can learn at their own speed, while teachers can better manage their work hours. Furthermore, blended learning can provide regular student feedback as well as stimulate student cooperation and discussion.
Young adults at college, fresh out of high school, are only a few steps away from experiencing the harsh reality of a hard career. As a result, higher education institutions have the unique obligation of not just providing a degree but also preparing these young adults for the problems they will confront once they graduate. Learning should not be aimed solely at producing ‘job seekers,' but also at producing well-informed, tech-savvy individuals who can benefit the country and humankind as a whole.