Varsity teachers demand a taskforce for future education roadmap
GUWAHATI: Teachers of Gauhati University have opposed large-scale use of online teaching methodology for students as "it will create digital divide and social inequalities in the society".
This reaction is significant considering the fact that many schools, colleges and universities in the State introduced online teaching and learning for students to compensate for the academic losses due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown.
The Executive Committee of Gauhati University Teachers' Association (GUTA) in its meeting held on May 18, observed that the prolonged closure of the educational institutions was going to have long-term adverse impact on the academic pursuits of the student community in the State.
"During the pandemic, the lack of equal and adequate infrastructure to cater to the needs of the students of different backgrounds and across different localities in the State has come to the forefront," Akhil Ranjan Dutta, president of GUTA said.
Dutta added that while acknowledging the need for the online mode of teaching and learning, the GUTA strongly felt that the push for online teaching is going to sharpen the digital divide and social inequalities
"We request the authorities concerned to form a taskforce involving academics from different strata of the education system in the State towards paving a roadmap to negotiate with the challenges. The GUTA sincerely urges the government to involve the greater society and the civil society organizations in this regard," Dutta appealed.
During the May 18 meeting, the GUTA also resolved to appreciate the initiatives of the Assam Government towards holding a series of dialogues with the renowned economists and educationists for preparing a roadmap for the State to deal with the challenges emanating from COVID-19. The GUTA particularly welcomes the formation of the Advisory Economic Task Force to deal with the post COVID-19 economic challenges of the State.
On other hand, the GUTA expressed its concern on the recent recommendation of the National Board for Wild Life (NBWL) for open cast coal mining in 98.59 hectares of forest land belonging to the Dehing Patkai Reserve Forest. It observed that such an act is going to destroy the largest tropical lowland rainforest in the country which is home to a large number of rare and endangered wildlife.