Best Practice 1
TTITLE: Introduction of ICT-enabled tools for effective Teaching-Learning process during the Covid-19 pandemic period
- To expand ICT-enabled Teaching-Learning infrastructure in our Institution for enhancing academic excellence
- To acclimatise all the faculty members and the students to the ICT technologies during this ongoing pandemic situation
THE CONTEXT: The beginning of the year 2020 was marked by a major global public health crisis. The outbreak of coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) has been substantially influencing the life and living of people across the world, especially after the declaration of a global pandemic by the WHO in the middle of March 2020. As soon as the lockdown strategy came into effect to combat the spread of the virus, the education system was greatly paralysed. All educational institutions came to a close and people were advised for home quarantine to ensure social distancing. Within a short span, there was a drastic transition from offline to online mode of teaching, which revolutionised the entire education sector across the world. This radical shift has baffled both the teachers and the students and it has been extremely challenging with mixed dividends. As per a report of UNICEF, 14 % of young Indians had a tough time in this phase and refrained from several activities – the prime reason for this being the economic background of the pupil. A major chunk of the population of India under the demographic dividend has no access to the internet or even smartphones; even if some of them have there is a lack of knowledge of the usages of the same. Teachers too faced several issues in using the new technology for taking classes and providing study materials. We too faced a similar scenario and it was a highly challenging task for both the students and the teachers to acclimatise with the condition in such a short span of time.
THE PRACTICE In the last academic year all of us have witnessed an unprecedented pandemic situation due to COVID-19 virus. The entire teaching-learning method has undergone a drastic change to combat with the unfavourable academic atmosphere. All educational Institutions were closed and the students faced a novel situation of online or virtual classes. This created an added pressure to many as it involved network connection, smartphones, connectivity issues, technological know-how.We conducted several webinars and orientation programmes by experts for students as well asteachers ononline platform like zoom, Google meet etc. for creating awareness in scientific advancement, socio-economic situations in national, as well as global scenario and, simultaneously creating increased acquaintance with the new ICT technologies and its usages. A YouTube channel of the college has been created, so that the values imparted through webinars, online workshops etc. can be broadcasted to a larger audience. Faculty members are encouraged to upload their educational videos in this channel, so that outside students can also take advantage of such materials.
In an endeavour to provide Learning Management Systems for teachers and students, we introduced G-Suite and created alternative educational platform.We used Google classroom and emails for disbursing study materials to students. Our teaching and non-teaching faculties have worked day and night for this purpose. The teachers across the departments have entertained students’ queries relentlessly and guided them.After resuming of offline classes, again it was extremely problematic to restore the normal classes.The blending of online and offline classes proved quite burdensome as there were issues in forming the timetable where pupil has several combination of subjects. We have been conducting survey and feedback from teachers and students which were collected at regular intervals for betterment of the curriculum. To continue with the blended mode of teaching-learning, the entire college is equipped with Wi-Fi connection after the pandemic scenario. We have installed routers in every floor for free internet access for students and teachers for online classes.
The admission process has been going online for the last several years. The enrolment of students in the semesters, submission of marks of internal examinations as well as fees submission has been controlled by our internal college portal, which has, so far, been supervised offline. However, when the institution was under lock-down, an alternative pathway has been created, where, the registration, enrolment of students and fees submission, marks submission etc. are controlled by an online portal.
This paradigm shift in the education sector has come with advantages as well as disadvantages. Some of our students came up with anxiety, fear, depression, suicidal ideation, social withdrawal etc during this crisis period as a result of this sudden shift in teaching-learning process which has been taken care of by thefaculty members of the department of Psychology of our college.
EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS
- Wide access of internet facility has been provided to inculcate online learning management resources.
- E-book, e-journal facilities have been provided to the students through OPAC URL. The college library has systematically notified all students about availability of study materials and, in fact supplied on-line materials through different whatsApp groups.
- Online classes have been arranged through Google Meet, Zoom, Webex etc. platforms.
- Webinars, workshops have been arranged by different departments in the pandemic situation for overall up gradation of academic standard as well as for stress management.
- A large number of teachers have supplied study materials to students through LMS, Google Classroom and YouTube link where Lectures have been uploaded.
- Responding to the impending crisis all examinations were conducted online using Google platform. This will also help the students to participate in online career entry examinations in future.
- The college has tried to make 100% classrooms ICT enabled and installed 27 smart TVs and 1smart classroom along with 6 projectors enabled classrooms.All Honours departments are equipped with desktops, laptops, working under wifi and LAN facility. There is 1 computer centre for the students as well as the faculty.
- The laboratories in the Science departments are well equipped and updated with advance software.
- The Seminar hall where special lectures are arranged are also fully equipped with ICT facilities.
- Provision for free Wi-Fi facility in the campus for use of the e-learning resources.
- Many faculties and students have enrolled for e-learning courses like NPTEL and SWAYAM to cope with updated technologies.
Best Practice 2
TITLE : Implementation of outreach programmes and extension activities for community development
- The primary focus of the institution is to transform the students into a responsible human being in the society.
- To develop competence among the students required for group-living and sharing of responsibilities.
- To acquire leadership qualities, civic responsibility and practice social harmony.
THE CONTEXTThe College has got its rich heritage of nurturing the habit of rendering service to the local and national community. The students are motivated to participate, involve and extend their service towards humanity. All the outreach activities are aimed to improve the holistic personality of the students. The various activities are planned and implemented through the National Service Scheme (NSS) of the college. The interactions and exchange of goodwill of the people provide the students a sense of sympathy and empathy. The college efficiently works towards the development of the students in an academic context and also gives equal importance to these outreach activities. These training, exposure and involvement of students have provided them the experience of social living.
Since its inception, Sarojini Naidu College for Women has been carrying out different sorts of extension and outreach activities through the National Service Scheme(NSS) team with faculty head as NSS Programme officer along with his team members. The whole team consists of about 60 NSS volunteers. The cardinal principle of the NSS programme is that the students and teachers combine together in community service and get a sense of involvement in the tasks of nation building.
NSS activities include functional literacy and non-formal education, tree plantation, participation in Republic day parade, health education and primary health care, first aid awareness, blood donation, AIDS awareness, disaster management (cyclones, floods), women empowerment, road safety, plastic eradication, and celebration of days of national importance and so on. These activities are planned and implemented regularly as a part of social activities to contribute towards the betterment of the society. The practice is unique, since it bestows the best education to the students’ community as it is a part of participatory learning and experiential learning.
EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS
Our NSS cadets have successfully executed various extension activities in collaboration with industry, community and non-government organizations during the past year.
- Following the devastating cyclone Amphan in May 2020, the Teachers’ Council along with the NSS unit of Sarojini Naidu College for Women, organized relief for cyclone affected people of Hingalganj, Sunderbans (North 24 Parganas) during June 5-6, 2020.
- Our students participated in an online yoga training programme on June 19, 2020, where they were taught some easy yoga poses to remain mentally and physically fit amidst the pandemic.
- To pay tribute to the freedom fighters and celebrate the spirit of independence, our NSS volunteers, brought together a video collage comprising, poetry reading, singing, dancing etc. to celebrate Independence day on August 15, 2020.
- In order to commemorate the day when the Constitution of India was adopted by the elected Constituent Assembly, online pledge was taken by our NSS volunteers on the Constitution Day – November 26th, 2020. The students of NSS along with other students read the Preamble and took the pledge, uttering the words that the framers of our constitution had so carefully written down.
- An online awareness programme was organized by the NSS unit, SNCW on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2020 and after the programme, the volunteers shared a poster online bearing the message, “Better Safe than Sorry”!
- Amidst the ongoing pandemic, Republic Day celebrations took place in our college on January 26th, 2021 offline, following all necessary safety protocols. NSS volunteers, NCC cadets, students, teachers and staff all came together to celebrate Republic Day through flag hoisting, songs, dances and recitation.
- To extend a supporting hand to the community in need, after the devastation of cyclone Yaas, the NSS unit, SNCW along with the Teachers’ Council had organized a relief camp at Namkhana (South 24 Parganas) on June 15th, 2021. Dry ration and saplings were distributed. Locals were helped to get rid of saline water from their fields and waterbodies, with the help of pumps, that were provided by SNCW. NSS volunteers had helped in packing dry ration for the cyclone affected people and collected saplings for distribution.
- An online celebration of World Yoga Divas was organized on June 21st, 2021 to propagate the importance of Yoga among students and its relevance in combating stress in pandemic situation.
- The Programme Officer, SNCW attended an online programme, titled Azadi Ka Amrit Mahatsov, an awareness campaign for HIV, TB and Blood donation and received a certificate of participation. The programme was organized by National Aids Control Organization, Government of India.
- Cyclone Yaas had affected the online classes for students residing in the cyclone affected areas of Sunderbans. Coupled with this, the flood had also impacted the houses of many students which damaged books and other study materials. Due to this reason, NSS unit, SNCW and Teachers’ Council in association with an NGO distributed old and new books to students who were appearing for their ten and twelve board examinations on August 14, 2021.
- An Interactive Awareness Session on HIV/AIDS and EMTCT Issues with the Red Ribbon Club of WBSU was held on August 28, 2021 in order to observe West Bengal EMTCT week 2021 & New India@75 Campaign, in collaboration with SAATHI. It was an interactive session, where students could learn from health activists who are working hard to spread awareness regarding HIV and AIDS.
- To sensitize the students about the relevance, importance and necessity of human rights, World Human Rights Day was celebrated online on December 10, 2021 and included an online presentation by the PO, highlighting the importance of the day, the need for human rights and the struggle that mankind has been involved with, in order to protect human rights violations all over the world.
- After offline classes began operating, the students realized that it was of utmost importance to keep everybody safe both within the campus and also beyond its walls. Hence, face masks were distributed on 17th December, 2021 both to the students, staff of the college as well to street vendors outside the college, autowalas, richshawallas, toto drivers and others.
- Our NSS volunteers along with other students and teachers celebrated Christmas with some street children by decorating Christmas tree, singing carols and sharing cakes, gifts and hand-made cards on 24th December, 2021.