The World Development Report 2018 came as a shocker wave for the Indian economy that compelled the policymakers to examine the potholes of the Indian Education system and bridge them with appropriate measures. The paper came with a warning of a learning crisis in global education, significantly in the low and middle-income countries like India.
According to the World Bank, primary and secondary education in such nations fails to educate the youth in prospects that could fetch them opportunities and higher wages in later life. This not just wastes the development opportunities but is also a great injustice to the children.
The true goal of education should be intelligence plus character. The function of education is to make students think critically and rationally. After all, it is education that demarcates humans from monkeys, who derive from the same ancestors.
On the contrary, the Indian Education System has always been running after ignoble satisfaction of fetching marks and medals. The students are always compelled to work for petty rewards, 100 marks, gold stars, honor rolls, trophies, and A’s on report cards.
However, the present bureaucrats sitting in the Indian parliament are in for some reforms. The interim Union Budget 2018 has already hinted towards the government’s involvement in increasing “digital density” in education and the one rolled out in 2019 reaffirmed the same. The red “bahi-khata” of the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman carried many clouds of reform for the education sector.
It would be quite interesting to watch out if these clouds would bring in monsoon in the Indian education domain or just drizzle away. The education experts are expecting to witness the following trends in the Indian Education system in 2019:
Weeding out of archaic classroom teaching
The budgetary allocation for education would go a long way in improving the quality of K-12 education in India, especially in government schools which usually eliminate room for innovation and ideas. The National Education Policy (NEP) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) are expected to address the core issues of elementary education, the infrastructural and connectivity issues in rural areas and offer structural reforms. It would be interesting to see how far these policies go in improving the quality of education which is presently confined to a few regional pockets.
A wider base of technology-based learning
Greater thrust on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based learning is a probable trend in the coming months of the year. The students can be expected to play with 3D virtual models of animals while learning about them rather than just scrolling through printed pictures. It is also expected that online education would complement the ‘chalk-and-talk’ system of teaching in rural areas, like their urban counterparts.
This would go a long way in bridging the digital dividend between different sections of the student community. This trend would also include the modification of routine assessment solutions of basic recall and adoption of newer ones that would look beyond homework and exams.
Regional languages picking up the growth
Bilingual content and learning via regional languages is also an expected trend in the coming time. With Google already supporting seven Indian languages on Google Translate, the demand for vernacular learning mediums is expected to rise. This will give desired fodder to the different sections of learners who find it difficult to unite under a single medium of instruction and also increase the student base.
A skilled demographic dividend
The increased impetus on new-age technologies like IOT, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Learning, and Robotics will serve as a stepping stone for building job-oriented skills in the youth, especially from rural backgrounds. This would equip them with the industry-demanded skills, knowledge, and competencies and open global avenues of career growth for them.
Indianization of international students
A global student mix in the Indian education system is another awaited event as proposed in the ‘Study in India’ initiative. Bringing international students to the Indian universities would not only make the Indian students global-minded but also give wings to the research activities within the higher educational institutions. This would possibly put India on the global education map.
Increased impetus on teacher training
Teachers have always been the front wheel of the Indian education domain. To enforce new-age learning methods and techniques, it is mandatory to augment the skillset and competence of the educators. Policies like the Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching coupled with recent initiatives like SWAYAM and personality development programs will go a long way in expanding the lateral thinking of Indian teachers.
The bottom line – The Indian Education system has already undergone a sea-change. Printed books and notebooks that had once replaced slates are now being taken over by digital learning aids. The focus and means of education have changed and learning has become fun and interesting. It would be exciting to witness what more the coming years have in store for the academic space.
Author Bio: Rohit Manglik, an Edupreneur and Founder-cum-CEO of EduGorilla Community Private Limited, pens articles on fields of education and technology.