St Aloysius College Reaches out to thousands through over 70 Free, National & International multidisciplinary Webinars during COVID Times
Mangaluru: Someone has rightly said that webinars are an ‘effective’ means of having a peep into the vast and unfathomable corpus of knowledge. Well! Today, the statement would be an understatement. In fact, time has come to ask: ‘What benefits do webinars offer to us?’ The Covid-19 times have made institutions- especially higher education realize the value and relevance of webinars more than ever. Webinars have reached out and engaged specific target groups in disseminating knowledge. The interactive webinars have facilitated asking pertinent questions to the resource persons and have evoked interesting and enlightening. It is interesting to note that some participants expressed that webinars have been more effective than physical meetings or classes.
St Aloysius College, Mangaluru has utilized the challenge posed by the pandemic by using its human resources to send a strong message to the global community that they need not be bogged down by disasters and pandemics but instead quickly create systems and platforms for building immunity and adopt a continuous learning mode by exposing its students and stakeholders to diverse and exciting topics of contemporary issues and concerns. The College has been busy conducting over 60 national and more than 10 international webinars during June-July, 2020. True to its motto, Lucet et Ardet – Shine to Enkindle, in a context of overwhelming despair and despondency, the management, staff and students have kindled the spark of new life by engaging all stakeholders in useful interactions and dialogues among peoples of the world irrespective of their denominations. Once again, the College has proved its caliber by standing tall as a veritable haven for higher learning inviting all to be a part of its great heritage of 140 years.
Rev. Dr Praveen Martis, SJ, the Principal, in his response to the overwhelming participation in the webinars expressed his joy and satisfaction that the idea of keeping the relevance of the institution intact during the pandemic has worked a miracle. The enormity of registrations and diversity of the participants has facilitated global identity and face to the College. The provision of recording the proceedings of the webinars and watching at one’s leisure has enhanced the impact of the learning. “We would have never imagined that we would be able to rope in such a galaxy of learned men and women of national and International repute face to face to the campus. No time in the history of the College has there been such a confluence of intellectuals, scholars and students on the virtual learning platform under the brand and banner of St Aloysius College.
“A webinar gives us an opportunity to reach out to the world and reinforce our message to millions of people. Webinars have enabled the College to utilize polls, chats and calls to action. Greater the interaction, greater the impact or power of our message!” says Dr Alwyn D’Sa, the Controller of Examinations. One of the participants remarked pertinently, “Long journeys involve traveling time and expense, but a these webinars eliminated the need to travel. I participated in most of the webinars conducted by St Aloysius College as it was easy and did not involve any expenditure. It was an exciting experience to know so many useful things during this pandemic sitting at home.”
One of the faculty members from Mumbai, when asked about the impact of the webinars of our College expressed: “I was able to build trans cultural connections; they are the most democratic platforms of learning where formalities regarding one’s qualification, degrees, socio-economic parameters and professions don’t matter at all. There is equal space for conspicuity and otherwise. The choice is left entirely to the learner or participant. Obviously, the fact that they were FREE made them more desirable. The content and topics were really significant and contemporary.”
The Undergraduate and Postgraduate departments of the College have been able to invite youth icons like Mr Derek O’Brien, the erstwhile popular TV Quiz Master in BournVita Quiz and young leader of Trinamool Congress and scientists of world renown drawn from premier academic and research institutions inspiring our students, staff and the public on some of the most trendsetting and innovative areas of studies. The College also has incorporated topics like health and hygiene, physical fitness and well being, disaster management, soft skills and counseling, music and public speaking, career counseling and most importantly, COVID-19 pandemic management issues and concerns. The participation and feedback from all stakeholders have been immensely encouraging and heartening.
Propelled by the response to these webinars and the commitment of the faculty to take these initiatives to altogether to a new global level, the College is confident to move forward with courage and determination to evolve and launch a prototype of a dynamic and blended online-offline model of education for the future from the upcoming academic session. The College has expressed its deep sense of gratitude to all its faculty members and departments for willingly catching up with the idea of webinars which would be an integral part of the teaching-learning at St Aloysius.