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Rethinking the purpose of higher education (especially PGDM course) during COVID-19 crisis

The Genesis:

The deadly Coronavirus outbreak presents a host of challenges for different sectors of human society. University campuses and institutes offering PGDM courses, with their congregate settings, are considered particularly vulnerable to the contagion. The Coronavirus pandemic is disrupting business schools offering PGDM course and students globally. COVID-19 is forcing campuses to close, disrupting study schedules, and creating a challenging environment for anyone considering an MBA or PGDM course for themselves. But, there is also a bright side to the coronavirus outbreak, with business school students and staff coming together to support each other through the crisis. The management institutes offering PGDM course in India continue to battle the epidemic and with many autonomous PGDM course institutes & universities across the country following public health guidance to shut campuses, they are at the same time ensuring student engagement and faculty engagement in a very holistic manner.

Responding to such disruption, top management colleges in Delhi NCR offering PGDM courses are shifting to online instructions so that students can keep up their studies without any hitches.

Along the side of extensive offerings, the quality of and equality in education are the other critical issues that require attention. Although online teaching is no longer a novelty, not all faculty members teaching in the PGDM course, irrespective of whether it is PGDM-HR, PGDM-Marketing, PGDM-Finance or any other stream, are equally adept at harnessing related technology and managing virtual classrooms. For this purpose, many PGDM course providing institutes with the help of AICTE has organized a series of training sessions for faculty members.

The success of students is what online teaching efforts are all about. Therefore, it is important to ensure no one is left out. Thanks to online tools like Microsoft Teams, Chatbox, Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and Blackboard, teaching online has become enormously stimulating. The pattern of teaching followed in PGDM course is somewhat done in the following manner:

  • Online Classes
  • Quiz
  • Video Recording & Sharing
  • Online Submissions of Assignments
  • WhatsApp Voice Notes
  • Online Exams

Thus, the students are incessantly engaged and the PGDM course syllabus of all streams like PGDM-HR, PGDM-Marketing, PGDM-Finance, or any other is also completed in a very effectual manner within the stipulated period by having a structured approach.

Rising to future challenges with an innovation mindset:

While preparing for erratic challenges, it is becoming a strategic challenge for PGDM course colleges in India to transmute themselves into innovation-driven institutions with a greater level of excellence, which is being wholly supported by AICTE with the introduction of innovative ideas to widen the scope of PGDM courses. In an era of scientific and industrial upheavals, education is undergoing swift changes. Mainly, information technology and cognitive science are driving the transition from education 1.0 to learning 2.0. which is being kept in mind while developing the PGDM course syllabus today.

PGDM colleges in India need to acclimatize to this new milieu by encouraging a fulfilling human-machine relationship, teacher-student interaction, life-long learning, and ubiquitous learning. A mix of online and face-to-face teaching is one example of how PGDM course institutes can diversify their provision beyond bricks and mortar, even after the threat of COVID-19 ends.

So, an institute offering a PGDM course should develop strategic thinking to achieve relentless innovation and become more robust. It comes down to attending to the following key aspects – viz., holistic thinking, practical thinking, and bottom-line thinking, as well as an excellence-oriented and open approach to education. In times of crisis like the current COVID-19, keeping the big picture in mind and maintaining smooth coordination among different units will enable a PGDM institute to respond quickly and achieve shared goals. Crisis essentially provides the opportunity for us to do things that we could not do before.