Pudding Seminar: Nikita Jha (MCR), ‘Looking for Windmills: What Can the ‘Invisible’ Schools of India Teach Us About Evolving from Crisis?’

The COVID-19 pandemic has undone years of progress for schooling in India. In its aftermath, there has been an effort to assess sectoral mistakes so as to be prepared to navigate future crises successfully. The consequent emphasis on systemic deficits has meant an oversight of organisational successes, educational evolutions, and real-time adaptations in response to the pandemic. The spotlight in debates has also been on mainstream schooling, casting a shadow on several other pockets of the education sector: special schools, low-fee schools, and schools for minority communities, among others.

Against this backdrop, I present the story of one such ‘invisible’ school and its experience of adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on data from a pilot study conducted for my doctoral research, I will share snapshots, insights and preliminary findings from the field to examine the following question: how can adversity and crisis be leveraged as an opportunity for evolution?

Nikita Jha is a third-year PhD candidate at the Faculty of Education.

All staff, students, senior members and alumnae are very warmly invited to attend the Pudding Seminars. Talks usually last between 20-25 minutes, followed by time for questions, comments and discussion before we finish at 1.50pm, to allow people to get to 2pm appointments. Please note that coffee and cake will be available from 1 o’clock with the seminar starting promptly at 1.15pm. Details of all our seminars can be found at: https://www.newn.cam.ac.uk/research/pudding-seminars/forthcoming-pudding-seminars/