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MARKING NEW PATHWAYS FOR THE FUTURE

BY Tanya Krishna  |  comments ( 0 )  | 
Like every year, the Indian Education Congress 2018 too brought with it the latest that’s happening in the education sector, including technological upgradation, inclusion of skill learning, and other emerging trends. The forum was started eight years ago with the simple thought that the education industry needed to change and that it needs as much disruption as is being witnessed today in other sectors across the world. Driven by this impetus, the 8th edition of this annual affair started with the lighting of lamp by Ritu Marya, Editor-in-Chief, Franchise India Ltd.; Atishi Marlena, advisor to the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi; Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, hairman, All India Council for Technical Education, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development; and DPS Rajesh, OSD to Minister of State for Human Resource Development.
 
The two-day event hosted a number of delegates and the torch-bearers of the Indian and global education fraternity who enlightened the audience with insightful sessions in an endeavour to find unidirectional approaches that will usher a crucial trend in the community. The series of panel discussions mostly revolved around the onset of virtual classrooms, the replacement of erstwhile blackboards with the new intuitive and interactive white boards, and the multi-device any-time, anywhere learning/teaching scenarios and how to leverage them. 
 
1. Education and Economy: Partners in Progress
The first trend highlighted by the speakers Atishi Marlena, Anil D. Sahasrabudhe and DPS Rajesh underlined how education and economy can work together. While Marlena talked about the poor state of the government-run schools that make students feel like second-class citizens, Sahasrabudhe stated that “in order to make India an EduEconomy, attention needs to be drawn to affordable, quality education, schools with proper facilities, a strong teacher-student relationship, subject matter expertise among teachers and other factors.” Also, Marlena asserted that the Delhi government is continuously working towards a complete transformation of around 1,029 state-run schools.
 
2. K12 Education: The Next Wave
The next trend that came into the spotlight was the importance of leadership and innovation in K12 education and training. Elaborating, Manjula Pooja Shroff, Managing Director and CEO, Kalorex Group, said, “Schools need to empower teachers for a more reformed education delivery. The K12 education system includes a lot of teacher-student interaction with the teacher encouraging question-answer sessions and assignments that could promote interesting learning habits in students.” The session underlined the fact that schools now need to help the students excel in what they are best in rather than testing them with grades, scores, etc.
 
3. Being Future-Ready, Today   
With time, the meaning and methods of education have changed significantly and schools and curriculum need to adapt themselves to these changes in order to better prepare the students for uncertainty and accelerating change, knowledge explosion, new jobs that cannot be envisioned now, global problems, globalised economy and the fourth industrial revolution. The next session’s speakers, Allan Kjaer Andersen, Founder, Orestad Gymnasium, Denmark and Manchu Vishnu, Film Actor and educationist, talked about how schools and educational institutions need to change themselves to be ready for the future. Andersen maintained that 21st century education is about gaining knowledge and to act and live together. 
 
4. Employment
Triggers Education The next trend highlighted by the speakers, P Srinivasan, Associate Dean and Head of Department, BITS Pilani and Ambrish K. Singh, Executive Vice-President,Shiksha.com, was about the challenges facing higher education and also the growing demand for employment oriented curriculums. The major challenges, as stated by Srinivasan, include “frequent change in technology, meeting expectations of students as well as their future employers, high levels of competitiveness, etc.”. Meanwhile, citing these challenges, Singh affirmed that the changing trends in employers’ expectations leading to change in curriculum structure and ultimately the teaching and learning process has ushered in considerable shifts in students’ choice of streams wherein the most popular ones are trading and commerce, hospitality and travel and law and design.
 
5. Innovation
The Key to Success Innovation in education poses a great challenge for educators, curriculum providers, technology-providers and governments alike and the next session pointed at the very need and importance of innovation in education as the way to move ahead with time. V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, talked about IIT Delhi’s immersion program wherein students are sent to villages to live with farmers in order to understand their problems and devise solutions to resolve them and also about the use of nanotechnology, research and development culture, young entrepreneurship program, etc.
 
6. Getting Personal
The education system too, like the other sectors, needs personalization. Schools or education institutions need to combine the educators, education technology and the needs of the students to offer what is needed by a particular set of students. According to Vikas Kakwani, Founder and CEO, AAS Vidyalaya, pointed out that our students fail to become experts in any domain because of non-personalized education they get.
 
7. CSR in Education
While the funds flowing into the education sector, especially from corporate social responsibility (CSR) budgets, are on the rise, the learning levels are still at an all-time low. Dr. Jawahar Surisetti, Advisor to the Government and TED speaker, said, “The maximum amount of CSR funding goes into infrastructure, which is the least important of what the education sector needs now. Most of the government agencies or organisations sideline the education sector, which is where CSR needs to actually pay attention.” Meanwhile, Sonia Shrivastava, Head, Vodafone Foundation, talked about the various scholarships that Vodafone Foundation offers under the aegis of ‘Learning with Vodafone’.
 
8. Going Global
Moving on, another trend the education system is looking at is expansion in the international markets. As Amreesh Chandra, President, GEMS Education, maintained, “India today is in the right position to stand as the intellectual capital of the world.” He asserted that India does have an inherent pool of knowledgeable teachers and a robust curriculum which makes it all the more charming for an international student to come to India and also international schools to enter the Indian markets. Similarly, Indian schools with their robust structures are expanding in the international markets, providing world class
education.
 
9. The 4th Industrial Revolution
The next trend brought into attention the 4th industrial revolution that has marked the coming together of the digital, biological and physical spaces. And to prepare students in accordance with this industrial revolution, teachers would need to inculcate skill-learning as part of education, thereby promoting creative intelligence among students. Some of the practices teachers can try include live-stream teaching, 3D printing, use of virtual reality, mobile learning, reverse gamification, etc.

 


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