Top city educationists discuss ‘The Millennial Challenge’

THE HANS INDIA |   Mar 29,2018 , 01:29 AM IST

Dr James Abdey, Assistant Professorial Lecturer, Statistics, LSE and Dr Geoffrey Fisher, Head of Aga Khan Academy seen during the symposium in Hyderabad on Wednesday
Dr James Abdey, Assistant Professorial Lecturer, Statistics, LSE and Dr Geoffrey Fisher, Head of Aga Khan Academy seen during the symposium in Hyderabad on Wednesday

Hyderabad: The third ISBF & LSE Annual Teachers’ Symposiums 2018, a collaborative effort between the New Delhi based Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF) and the globally renowned The London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), addressed challenges faced in higher education delivery in the present times, particularly to the post-millennial generation living in the digital era. 

The day-long event, which brought together a representative community of educators from the city’s high schools, took place at  Hitec City. This year’s theme, ‘The Millennials: Challenges and Opportunities’, was addressed by eminent academicians and educationists including Dr James Abdey, Assistant Professorial Lecturer, Statistics, LSE and Dr Geoffrey Fisher, Head of Aga Khan Academy.

The morning session saw the welcome address delivered by Dr. G.L. Tayal, Dean Academics, ISBF. During the address, he said, “There’s a need to integrate content, pedagogy and technology, involving students in an active learning process.”  Dr. James Abdey in his keynote address drew the audience's attention to the shrinking attention span of the present generation of learners. 

He said, “A recent Microsoft study found human attention span to be as low as 8 seconds, and under the present scenario a significant reorientation is necessary in order to retain student engagement in the classroom.” During the tenure of his discourse he also emphasized on methods through which today's classrooms must adapt, to stay relevant. 

Dr. Geoffrey Fisher, Head, Aga Khan Academy, who was the guest lecturer at the symposium, spoke on ‘Disruptive or Incremental Education: Will They Meet India’s Future Developmental Needs’. In his address he pointed out that in the future, 25% of the global workforce would be Indian and that if India wants to harness its youth dividend, then they would have to place youth responsibility. During the course of his speech, he acknowledged Dr. Abdey’s compelling delivery on the pedagogy not being up to the standards and harped on the aspects of innovation. 

He said, “Smartphone has destroyed, changed and created new industries is an example of disruptive innovations, while a pencil is an incremental innovation and at the moment we are only seeing incremental innovation in education.” To end the session he stated, “Good schools do six things right – teaching, learning, leadership, technology, policy and collaboration.” 
Dr. Tayal, Dean Academics, ISBF, concluded the Symposium with a vote of thanks while stressing on the need and importance of innovative delivery models in higher education to deliver to the expectations of India’s next generations, who have multiple modes of learning available to them now.

Some prominent institutions of the city were represented at the Symposium included the likes of Chirec International School, Indus International School, The Aga Khan Academy, Kennedy High School, Rockwell International School and Gitanjali School.

The afternoon session of the symposium had three breakaway sessions. Dr. Abdey, in the breakaway session he conducted in the afternoon, said, “There is a need for on orientation towards learning from an inter-disciplinary perspective”. To help explain further, he provided the example of Mathematics. He said, “It is important to understand that Mathematics is the language of higher study in many subjects, such as Economics, Finance and Actuarial Science.” 

The second session saw ISBF’s Dean and Associate Professor Aryapriya Ganguly presenting the case study method as a tool to help students blend theory and practice. In the third breakaway session, Pragati Pandey, Counselor, Aga Khan Academy focussed on career opportunities for millennials and whether there is an overload of information for them. Thereafter, the group re-convened for the final session of the day, which discussed ISBF’s pedagogical interventions towards inculcating and fostering a spirit of enquiry among students, along the lines of the LSE motto “to understand the causes of things”.

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