EDUCATION IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC
The way Faculty of Forestry SKUASTK worked is commendable and appreciable
By: JAUHAR RAFEEQ
The arrival of corona has shattered almost all the sectors in world. With the arrival of corona, educational institutes were closed throughout India. On March 16, we were informed that SKUASTK will remain closed for one month. At that time the only thing which came in my mind was that, what will happen with us, how will we complete our semester and what will happen with our degrees. Soon after, the closure of our University, I received message on Whatsapp that I have been added in the group namely Bloom. When I opened the group, I saw that the group was created by one of my teacher namely Dr Aasif Ali, Assistant Professor at Faculty of Forestry SKUASTK. Within few minutes all students and faculty members joined the group. The motive of that group was to bring students on one platform and keep them updated regarding the future events. The process of e- learning started from here.
After few days, course instructors started online classes. Groups were created by each course instructor for separate courses. Students were informed to join Google classrooms. Links for the same were shared on Whatsppp group of the Faculty. Study material was uploaded by course instructors from time to time. Online lectures were delivered by respected teachers on various platforms like Zoom, Skype etc. Different assignments were assigned to students. Students were asked to deliver ppts through online mode. An atmosphere of E- learning was created under the dynamic leadership Honble Vice- Chancellor SKUASTK and Dean FOF SKUAST. Proper counseling was done from time to time. Any confusion among students, were solved on priority basis. A student friendly atmosphere was created. Students were provided quality material, related to subjects from time to time.
After completion of syllabus, exams were taken as per the internal assessment scheme of SKUASTK. Two quizs of 5 marks each were conducted. 10 marks each were assigned to midterm and practical exams. Exams were taken with the help of google forms and through google classrooms. Marks were assigned to assignments and presentations. Students were asked to deliver their ppts online. Viva for practicals were conducted on Zoom platform. In a nutshell each and everything related to exams was conducted in a disciplined manner. Teachers worked hard and their role in conducting exams is commendable.
Career counseling and placement centre, Faculty of Forestry SKUASTK headed by Dr K.N Qaisar, Professor and Head Division of Silviculture and Agroforestry, conducted several mock tests for faculty students. The motive behind such tests was to keep the students on track and keep them ready for upcoming entrance examinations. Keeping in view the upcoming entrance examinations for Masters admissions and ICAR JRF exams, several mock tests were conducted for faculty students. On May 4, an online quiz was conducted in which 70 undergraduate students from the Forestry, Veterinary sciences, Agriculture and Horticulture faculties participated. Several other mock tests were conducted by faculty from time to time. Mock tests were conducted through google form platform. Special mock tests of Tree Improvement were conducted by Dr Anup Raj, Professor, Forest Biology and Tree Improvement, Faculty of Forestry SKUASTK. In order to boost the morale of students, several prizes were announced for top five position holders.
WEBINARS AND WORKSHOPS
In this time of pandemic, Faculty of Forestry SKUASTK conducted different webinars and workshops for the students. On 27th May, Career counseling and placement centre, FOF SKUASTK organized a webinar, Strategy for competitive exams in Forestry for U.G, P.G and PhD students of the faculty. A motivational lecture was delivered by the speaker, Dr Sheeraz Saleem Bhat (ARS). Different strategies for qualifying competitive exams were shared with the students. On July 15, series of online workshops on leadership principles and progressive professional were kick started. The workshops were organized by Dr Akhlaq Amin wani, Associate professor, NRM, Faculty of Forestry SKUASTK. The workshops were part of NAHEP programmes. The workshop was conducted in three separate sessions. First session, Overcome Ones Fears through Leadership and Team Spirit was conducted on 15th July, second session, Stay Strong with your Personal Values and Principles, on 21st July and final session, Re-focus, Re-strategize and Restore as a Progressive Professional on 25th July. The lectures were delivered by guest speaker Ms Majula Sularia Thakur, CEO, Transformers Value Creators and Director Prasanchetas Foundation. The three sessions of the workshop aimed at exploring the abilities within professionals and students to help them emerge in stressful times. More the 180 students from different institutions across India, participated in the workshop. E-certificates were given to all students who attended various sessions of workshop. The efforts of the speaker and organizers were highly appreciated by the students who participated in the workshop.
Despite the hardships we are facing in this part of world, be it closure of institutions, 2G internet or something else, Faculty of Forestry SKUASTK has done a wonderful job in this time of Pandemic. From online classes to webinars, our teachers had worked hard. Thanks to all teachers for their personal interest which they showed for student community.
- Author is a PhD Scholar at Faculty of Forestry SKUASTK. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org