20 Jul Dr. Jon Cartu Writes – In the test of online teaching, ITIs rank high : The…
Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 19
Madan Lal (46), an instructor at ITI-Fazilka, had never worked on a computer. His phone was nothing more than a medium to receive and make calls and messages. But that was in the pre-Covid era. Nearly four months after the pandemic hit the country, he is now a pro at using the phone and computer for teaching motor mechanic skills to his students.
For five days a week, he goes to his friend’s mechanic workshop in Fazilka and any vehicle that comes for repair becomes his teaching tool for students — all connected to him through a Zoom video call.
His student Ankush Harjai says though he misses the regular classroom experience, at least his training is not being affected due to the closure of ITIs. Son of a commission agent, he says the initial anxiety of losing a year because of the inability of educational institutes to begin regular classes is gone and he now finds some semblance of normalcy in his life in the midst of the pandemic.
Like Ankush, there are 28,000 other students across Punjab who feel the present adversity has brought out the best in the Technical Education Department. Known for their rather casual approach to skill training, the 117 ITIs in the state have emerged as a sound media of imparting skills by adapting to various online facilities. Around 75 per cent of the work is based on practical training.
Anurag Verma, Principal Secretary, Technical Education, says initially, it seemed difficult to shift to online classes, considering the little knowledge of computer and other online teaching aids. “But since we realised early on that the battle is a long one, which requires a completely new way of teaching, we moved quickly in that direction,” he says.
‘Ensure admissions on 90 per cent seats’
Anurag Verma, Principal Secretary, Technical Education, has asked principals of government polytechnic colleges to ensure that 90 per cent seats are filled. He has warned of strict action, including issuing a ‘chargesheet’ to the employees, if they fail to meet the target.