Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Coming together for education

The new normal for education has brought about the need to go online, which often comes with a host of challenges. Noticing how the situation was frustrating for both students and faculty, Sameera Fernandes, dean of academic affairs at St Francis College, decided to curate an international intercollegiate e-festival to lighten the mood in these times.

With an aim to encourage the learning community at large, the event is open not only to students, but faculty and management staff as well. “Teachers also need encouragement right now because if they are happy, they will naturally pass on the positive vibes to students too,” says Fernandes. 

Titled Confluence 2020, the initiative kicked off on July 8 and has over 40 events such as beat boxing, business planning, interior design, quizzes, debates, singing and dancing events. So far, 450-500 colleges and 1,000 individuals have registered for the e-festival. “We are seeing participating from USA, UK, UAE and Israel as well,” adds Fernandes.

The submissions are screened by a jury comprising faculty members from non-competing colleges. “The group singing and dancing events have been quite popular with participants. Since group events are difficult to carry out right now, we’ve asked people to send entries with their family members instead,” says Fernandes.

The event concludes on July 15, which is also the UN World Youth Skills Day, when a panel discussion will be held on the theme ‘Educating the Next.’ Panelists include Israel-based Alisa Eshet Moses, director – Asian Arab Chamber of Commerce; Asif Iqbal, president, Indian Economic Trade Organisation; IPS officer D Roopa Moudgil; and Sebastien Hug, CEO and Consul General, Swissnex India. “The suggestions of these various thought leaders will then be sent to University Grants Commission and All India Council for Technical Education so that they can refer to it for future changes in the education sector,” says Fernandes. 

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