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Ex-Infosys CEO Shibulal’s initiative is filling a gap in education — digital teacher training

Focus of govts amid the Covid pandemic has been on teaching children, leaving teacher-training in the cold. That’s where platforms like ShikshaLokam step in.

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New Delhi: The education sector has been one of the worst-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic around the world, with exam schedules and re-opening of schools and colleges after lockdown going haywire.

In India, central and state governments have been struggling to develop a new pedagogy, and the focus has been on children, forcing the training of teachers to be placed on the backburner. This is where digital teacher-training platforms like ShikshaLokam, started by former Infosys CEO S.D. Shibulal, have stepped in.

ShikshaLokam is used for leadership training of teachers, and even reaches rural and far-flung areas. It works on filling the leadership-deficit in education by taking training to teachers across states including Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa.

In an interview with ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta and Special Correspondent Kritika Sharma, Shibulal talked about ShikshaLokam, which falls under the aegis of the Shibulal Family Philanthropic Initiatives, and how it has become more relevant today, by virtue of being a digital intervention.

“In the field of capacity-building, ShikshaLokam becomes a lot more relevant today… You need to drive changes overnight. None of the traditional models of change can be adopted today, given the current situation,” Shibulal said.

“Today, if the government wants to roll out new ways of teaching, they need to train people for that. Changes are not only about teaching; there will be administrative changes as well. This is where platforms like ShikshaLokam are a lot more relevant,” he continued.

“We have seen some situations where the government was able to send out instructions using the platform,” the former Infosys CEO added.

Also read: This is how govt plans to trim Class 10, 12 syllabus to ease lockdown blow for students

Involving local people

ShikshaLokam offers intervention at various levels, where teachers and other school leaders can analyse an issue, develop an intervention/solution for the problem, learn about relevant solutions from the platform, and analyse the database.

“I have seen that there is a serious lack of qualified people when it comes to leadership training, because it is not just about changes in teaching — the administrative aspect in schools also needs to be improved, which is where a number of our initiatives help,” Shibulal said.

The platform takes the help of local people to generate an area-specific response to issues.

“Every area has a specific kind of issue and we take help from locals to understand the issue and find relevant intervention. In Bihar, for example, where we have just started working, we are working on a community model,” he added.

Also read: Study Covid impact on villages, draw lessons from 1918 Spanish Flu fight: Govt to colleges


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