India/December 06, 2022/By: Dipak Jha-CEO, Gurusiksha.com/Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
According to a recent MoE report, India has the largest education system worldwide. Education has changed from the traditional ‘classroom-blackboard model’ to an enhanced system with technological integration, especially since the Covid pandemic hit the world. As the world moves towards the third decade of the 21st century, it stands witness to technological advancements across industries. Many innovations were introduced by young geniuses from across the world who paved the way for future generations.
These advancements were not limited to the production sectors, but education, as well. It has become amply clear that education in the post-Covid world will never be completely offline again. Every change comes with a positive, as well as negative, impact and so does technology in education. Talking about positive impact, it is helping narrow down gender disparity in the education system considerably.
Gender disparities continue even today in the learning system. Girls in our country, especially in the rural areas, often find themselves on the margin of the education system and social development. Equality, inclusiveness and equitable access to education are the prime conditions for developing a progressive society.
In such a critical situation, a technology-driven education system has the power to lower gender disparity. It can be an equalizer offering access to quality learning—especially for girls. Digital education can be a powerful tool for girls to overcome inaccessibility and cost barriers, among other challenges.
A survey reveals that school closures due to a pandemic-like situation can ruin an entire generation. It also states that students impacted by school closures or learning loss are at a risk of losing $17 trillion in lifetime earnings, which is roughly 14% of the current global GDP. This data reveals that the impact will be considerably higher than the earlier estimate of over $10 trillion assessed in 2020. It is evident that learning loss is one of the most distressing aspects of a child’s welfare and development in these tough times.
With increasing Internet population and easier access to mobile devices, a technology-driven education system can reach more growing children in future. Besides empowering girls to continue education despite different challenges, technology penetration can also make it interesting and engaging for them, which will eventually result in girls continuing their education further. It not only improves their accessibility to the education system and different study materials, but also makes learning more inclusive. It can boost their interest in such reasoning subjects as physics and mathematics.
Ed-tech startups and companies, along with educational institutes, will also have to play key roles to further develop this new system. India has already joined the E9 initiatives of the United Nations in April 2021. The purpose of this initiative is to encourage digital learning, targeting the marginalized section of society, especially girls. It is estimated that, by 2030, more than 20 Indian higher education universities will be among the world’s top five countries in the R&D field with an annual spend of $140 billion. The government should come up with a more clarified policy for a technology-driven education system.
In the next few decades, India is likely to have the world’s youngest population. Hence, it is vital that children of the county get access to quality education irrespective of aptitude levels, socio-economic conditions or location. It will take an entire ecosystem of empowered teachers, a change mindset, and grassroots efforts for delivering quality education.