Why in News?
Amitabh Kant writes: The pandemic-induced learning crisis and the Fourth Industrial Revolution have made it necessary to reimagine education and align it with the unprecedented technological transformation.
Syllabus—GS2: Issues related to education
- The country was reeling under an acute learning crisis, even before the Covid-19 pandemic, with one in two children lacking basic reading proficiency at the age of 10.
India’s Edu-Tech market: –
- The Indian ed-tech ecosystem has a lot of potential for innovation.
- With over 4,500 start-ups and a current valuation of around $700 million, the market is geared for exponential growth — estimates project an astounding market size of $30 billion in the next 10 years.
- The pandemic threatens to exacerbate this crisis, especially because of the physical closure of 15.5 lakh schools that has affected more than 248 million students for over a year.
- Further to aid this learning crisis, the 4th industrial revolution makes the situation more critical.
- Because current imperative is to reimagine education & align it with the unprecedented technological transformation.
- The pandemic-induced disruption of traditional delivery models offers a critical reminder of the impending need to weave tech into education.
India & 4th Industrial Revolution in Education:
- The new NEP 2020 is a response to the clarion call to integrate tech at every level of instruction.
- It envisions the establishment of the National Education Technology Forum (NETF) to spearhead efforts towards providing strategic thrust to the deployment & use of tech.
- India is well-poised to take this leap forward
- with increasing access to tech-based infra & affordable internet connectivity
- which is fueled by flagship programmes such as Digital India, DIKSHA & UDISE+(largest education management systems).
India needs a comprehensive Ed-tech policy architecture that must focus on 4 key elements:
- Providing access to learning mainly to disadvantaged sections,
- Enabling processes of teaching, learning & evaluation,
- Facilitating teacher training & continuous professional development.
- Improving Governance system.
Learning’s from India’s experiences in this regard:
- Technology is a tool & not a panacea,
- Technology must be in service of the learning model but there is a danger in providing digital infra without a plan.
- Technology cannot substitute schools or replace teachers.
- It’s not teachers versus tech, the solution is in teachers & tech.
- Tech solutions are impactful only when embraced & effectively leveraged by teachers.
Best Practices/Case Studies across India in Edu-tech innovations:
- HamaraVidhyalaya of Arunachal Pradesh: Fostering tech-based performance assessments
- Assam’s online career guidance portal
- Samarth of Gujarat: Facilitating the online professional development of teachers
- Jharkhand’s DigiSATH: Establishing stronger parent-teacher-student linkages.
- Himachal Pradesh’s HarGharPathshala: Providing Digi-education for special needs children.
- Uttarkhand’s Community Radio: Promoting early reading through byte-size broadcasts.
- Madhya Pradesh’s DigiLEP: Delivering content for learning enhancement through WhatsApp groups,
- Kerala’s Aksharavriksham : Focus on digital edutainment to support learning & skill development.
Way Forward: –
- India’s journey from a holistic strategy to its successful application is daunting & longer. It needs careful planning, sustained implementation & calculated course corrections.
- To craft a cohesive strategy, action needs to be taken on multiple fronts.
- In the immediate term, there must be a mechanism to thoroughly map the ed-tech landscape, especially their scale, reach, and impact.
- The focus should be on access, equity, infrastructure, governance, and quality-related outcomes and challenges for teachers and students.
- In the short to medium-term, the policy formulation and planning process must strive to enable convergence across schemes (education, skills, digital governance, and finance), foster integration of solutions through public-private partnerships, factor in voices of all stakeholders, and bolster cooperative federalism across all levels of government.
- As policy translates to practice at local levels & tech-based solutions become ubiquitous, then good practices & lessons from successful implementation must be curated.
Explain the challenges faced by India’s school education landscape.India with NEP 2020 having set the ball rolling, the need of hour is a transformative Ed-tech policy architecture to effectively maximize student learning. Illustrate