Personal Website of Assistant Professor Md. Ehsanul Islam Khan (Asad)

New Normal Pedagogies: Challenges to Meet

While the world is experiencing an inordinate global crisis for the Covid-19 pandemic, the education sectors of several developing countries are facing severe challenges. Bangladesh is no different than that. The educational sectors are stuck like a painted ship in the ocean surrounded by ice. However, the preparation should be taken as early as possible to continue the adequate flow of education in post-pandemic situations otherwise, the authority or the concerned educators may face severe challenges in the pedagogies of New Normal Life. The new normal life will not be easy as pie to encounter the challenges as the students are not in a continuous mode of general study.

Virtual learning may not be effective for many students, especially for children-learners. Such a negative impact influences the learner’s mind to be out of the off-line study where they are neuro-linguistically demotivated. Many secondary and intermediate learners might not use online applications due to the lack of proper familial or institutional support. So, the psychological and psychosocial quandaries have already influenced them, even worse. Many students might also face poor internet connection or electricity problems in remote or coastal areas. So, there may be only a handful of learners who are getting benefits from online learning platforms, especially those who are living in urban areas. Nevertheless, many students and teachers consider that the scientific and practical courses in the different departments of ‘Life-Science’ and ‘Engineering’ fields are being greatly hampered at the tertiary level. Though all the public universities have not yet officially started the online classes, some concerned teachers are taking classes using different cybernetic applications for the students’ betterment. Regarding private universities, only the theoretical courses are being taught in most of the institutions. Consequently, the required balance cannot be maintained between theoretical and practical courses as the courses are usually designed with a bottom-up process. Only the general education courses are no more suitable to be offered in the current semesters as the private universities are about to pass three trimesters or two semesters.

However, innovative approach for ‘New Normal Pedagogy’ is required and recommended. The themes of ‘Blended Learning’ and ‘Flipped Classroom’ is the demand of time. In that case, the government along with the educators and teacher-educators should rethink the canon to continue the mainstream study. As the students have already been habituated with the online classroom or learning platforms, this habit should be continued and included in the curriculum. As the government of Bangladesh is determined to make a ‘Digital Bangladesh’, this online classes should be authorized and given priority to encounter the future challenges of the competitive world during the off-line study. There remain questions with the online evaluation process. That issue may also be solved by a body of intellectuals of education sectors. So, a balanced pedagogy is required for the New Normal situations. Resolving the issue, the offline class may be divided into two segments of offline and online assessment systems. The assignments, class tests, and quizzes may be taken through online platforms. In that case, the class lectures, discussion, and teacher-student interaction may be facilitated and get additional scopes with more credibility and efficacy.

To implement the vision of ‘Digital Bangladesh’, the teaching and learning processes must be facilitated by technological supports. A digital monitoring cell may be formed to evaluate the learning process and report to the higher body regularly in every institution. Besides, adequate study materials, institutional capability, incentives from the government, teacher research, and teacher training should be ensured to face the challenges. After a pandemic, the students may be at a loss. Already, the public exam for intermediate level has been canceled that has already created precedence. As a result, the upcoming secondary public exam falls in the subject to consideration also. Mainstream education has been padlocked for sine die. So, a huge number of students have not been prepared for the next upper level. In that case, some imperative and inevitable topics may be included in their ‘would be promoted’ class for necessary insights on subjective themes from the previous courses. Particularly, the practical issues need to be reconsidered. Therefore, it is high time the authority and officials considered this issue for the incessant progress of the students.

Rumi’s Divine Love and Spirituality

Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, philosopher and Sufi mystic, is widely known for his poems that explore themes of love and spirituality. Rumi’s poetry often