2021: An Overview of Education and the Way Forward for India’s Education – Times of India

Anish Srikrishna, Chief Executive Officer, Times Professional Learning

2021 has made technology-enabled education a sustainable feature. Educational institutions should now take advantage of technology and redesign the curriculum to address the next epidemic challenges of skills and employment.

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In many ways, 2021 was a continuation of 2020: During the long fight against the epidemic, we have become accustomed to the higher VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) conditions that are present in the global situation. However, 2021 was an academic year for industries across the board that found ways to pivot and adapt to an ever-evolving situation. This is especially true for the education sector which has been able to grow out of its traditional mold and introduce new technology-driven teaching and learning process. This was not an easy transition, as education was one of the latest frontier sectors to adapt to technology. How exactly did this happen? And what does this mean for the future of India’s 600 million young students under the age of 25?

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The ultimate push towards technology-enabled education

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The biggest challenge for the education system in India is to reach millions of remote students. The scale of the problem is too large to manage due to the limited supply of quality educators and educational institutions in the country. There is inequality in education due to mismatch between demand and supply. Compared to equivalent countries like China and Brazil, India’s 24: 1 student-teacher ratio is alarmingly low. The problem is exacerbated by the availability of very few major educational institutions where there is a small team of highly qualified teachers and remains a stronghold of elite education. However, the problem we face today, whether it is climate change, poverty or gender inequality, demands that every person in remote areas have access to education.

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The democratization of education can only be achieved by harnessing the power of technology, although educators and students personally make conscious choices for education. This prevents the teaching-learning process from undergoing a massive transformation, although India and every sector in the world continues to invite disruption and change through technology. With the epidemic, things changed drastically and all schools, colleges and institutions of higher learning implemented drastic changes overnight. Covid-19, thus, has acted as a powerful catalyst for initiating a change of mindset and, more importantly, has calmed the debate over whether technology-enabled education is optional.

In the midst of the second year of the epidemic, the questions we want to address are: How will we improve technology-enabled education, ensure that teachers are teaching effectively, and that students are improving themselves through new online learning methods? The answer lies in the use of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things.

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Using technology to excel in education

Author Clayton M. Christensen, in her 2008 iconic book, Disrupting Classes, recommends broadcasting classroom lessons across the United States to maximize the impact of some of the best teachers available. The debate over excellence, accessibility and affordability in education has become particularly sharp in an age of old and ubiquitous connected devices. In the post-epidemic world, there is no longer a debate about whether technology should be used to solve problems in education; The debate over how technology needs to be put in place to achieve high performance and real-world student results is now gone.

The advent of AI has created a number of edtech innovations that address the needs of higher education and achieve better middle-class learning outcomes. With the rich user data available to edtech companies, there is an opportunity to enhance the virtual classroom experience for an approximate physical experience. Assuming strict privacy concerns have been acknowledged, educators can use these tools to understand the quotient of students’ engagement and initiate corrective action. From simple automated quizzes after class to AI mapping across the student’s eye movement screen, these tools are highly innovative and can enhance an uninterrupted virtual classroom. As more and more students enter the job market in India, technology tools can ensure continuous development and improve the quotient of employment for most of them.

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Reorganize the education system and take it to the real world

According to data from the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), more than 10 million people lost their jobs in 2021 due to the second wave of Kovid-19. Thus, now more than ever, lucrative employment is a high risk problem, and education must be the way to solve this problem. We are in the age of Industry 4.0, where AI, ML and robotics are considered to be the drivers of growth. Therefore, to prepare students for this world of high technology, we need an education system that uses synchronous and asynchronous methods through digital platforms and video-assisted learning. With such a system, learning can be accessible, fun and collaborative for future-ready students.

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Education must be holistic and uninterrupted because learning and employment must go hand-in-hand while preparing for uncertainty, promoting agility and adaptability. In addition, discipline-based education needs to be redesigned towards skills-based education. Instead of providing comprehensive theory-based programs, educational institutions need to identify the problems and challenges in our world today. They should introduce programs that help students specialize in providing solutions to these problems.

Times Professional Learning’s (TPL) covers a wide range of disciplines and offers different programs at different stages of a student’s life cycle. It offers educational programs for early career workers, working professionals and executive-level leaders to ensure opportunities for lifelong learning and skills and re-skills. It also offers programs that are employment-guaranteed and have an ‘income sharing’ format to pay fees for selected courses where candidates pay for placement. TPL’s premium offers in BFSI domain include Post Graduate Diploma in Banking Management (PGDBM), Post Graduate Diploma in Banking Management (Extended Learning). [PGDBM (XL)], And a Post Graduate Diploma in Sales and Relationship Banking (PGDSRB).

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In addition, TPL has offered industry-specific programs ranging from shipping and logistics to transportation, and utilities, keeping in mind the huge demand for skill sets such as supply chain management and logistics skills during the epidemic. TPL builds its programs on participants with the skills needed to improve the increasingly globalized and high-tech business environment. It also offers a variety of high-order programming courses, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, full-stack web development, and coding.

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Disclaimer: Content produced by Times Professional Learning (TPL)

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