But for the humanity, 2020 is not a mere story of problems and challenges and end of the road. It is also a story of hope, solutions, adaptations and resilience. Here is our bit in the larger picture of higher education.
First and foremost, I am particularly happy to share the ‘from off-line to online’ transition my teaching and non teaching staff could adapt to. Except for the first 2/3 weeks of March 2020, we as a team was fully functioning doing 100% of what we did for so many years. Yes, every part of academic, administrative, financial functioning bounced back in online mode. SOPs developed, templates in place and new activities initiated - the year was dramatic and fulfilling. IQAC activities, student council, CDC meetings, celebrations, ‘Diksharambha’, ‘Satat’, annual day, invited lectures, FDPs, workshops -we cut no corners.
We had 2 online CREs reaching out to 250 in-service special educators. The first one was relevant and essential since it addressed the need of the hour - technology in education. No wonder then that ours was one of the first independent collages kick starting online CREs. The second one was for 200 special educators from interior Maharashtra working for the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET). In fact. DIET Latur is a new found friend for us with whom we collaborated for two flagship programs: 1. CRE in-service STP on school screening for disabilities. As an outcome we not only have 200 trained special educators geared up to guide mainstream teachers to screen the students to identify the 8 disabilities but also published a booklet compiling 8 tools in Marathi developed particularity for this program by veteran experts. 2. Aarmbha, disability orientation program for the mainstream teachers was also carried out in collaboration with DIET. This was attended by 1080 mainstream teachers who wanted to run extra mile towards inclusive education. We were happy to facilitate the process in tune with our mission towards inclusive world and our cherished value of collaboration.
We went international in many of our efforts in 2020. We had international resource persons for our programs, schools overseas participated in our AAYAM campus recruitment drive and our students experienced internship in schools from foreign countries. This is just the beginning. Social and off line distancing has a hidden benefit of coming together online. As 2021 begins, we want to continue drawing the best from the opportunities we get.
In short, the darkness around us did scare us at times but we continued on the path of offering light since darkness highlights the light within!
भोवताली दाटला अंधार दुःखाचा जरी,
सूर्य सत्याचा उद्या उगवेल आहे खात्री,
तोवरी देई आम्हाला काजव्यांचे जागणे………
Dr Asmita Huddar