Advances in technology offer the potential to expand access to education, but will online learning ever replace the need for teachers? The fate of teachers in the era of emerging e-class rooms and online teaching took centre-stage as students from India and abroad engaged in a debate over it.
Students from three prominent high schools from UK, Singapore and the US, and some elite institutions from India took part in the near three-hour long debate at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. NPS International School (Singapore) and Model Westminster (UK) were the other two foreign participants in the debate. Besides St Xavier’s Collegiate School, the Indian contingent included Mayo College (Ajmer), The Heritage School, and DPS Newtown.
What Students Argued
One of the debaters, representing St Xavier’s Collegiate School, said, “Technology has not made teachers redundant. And teachers are not being replaced by technology. But technology has made the task of students easier.” The debate later ended with the resolution that teachers cannot be replaced by any emerging technology and can only make better use of new medium.
“This is incredible to think that despite hailing from different countries, we can understand each other and share different views,” said Timothy Joseph, a student from Boston College High School.
S Ramalingam, on behalf of the organisers ‘Calcutta Debating Circle’, said the three foreign teams came from nations which are more developed than India, and hence, their arguments partly differed.
Dylan Patrick, another participant from Boston College High School said, “It was amazing how we became friends hailing from different parts of world… and debated passionately.”
The teachers, too, were happy with the way the workshop shaped up. They were made to narrate small stories from their lives and the others had to guess the morals that could be learned from them.