July 16, 2024

BENGALURU EXPRESS

Truth Triumphs

The Indian education – To rise again!

GUEST COLUMN: Dr. N Prabhudev

Bengaluru, June 19: The schools of the future are being built today. These are schools where all teachers have the right competencies and motivation, where technology empowers them to deliver quality learning, and where all students learn fundamental skills, digital skills and problem-solving skills.

Free and compulsory education in India is provided to children between the ages of 6 and 14. India increased spending on education has increased literacy rates to nearly 78% percent as of 2021. A 4.9 percent increase in the education budget has resulted in a new impetus. 

To rise again!

No great nation was ever built by petty minds with no vision, no knowledge of their roots and no self-confidence. Give India’s heritage its due place in education, and India’s still living strengths will take care of the rest.

As a result of the new National Education Policy, the education starts with 5+3+3+4 system. The division of stages has been made to fall in line with the cognitive development stages that a child naturally goes through. NEP- facilitates India’s education system to align with the education system world over.

Artificial Intelligence and automation are ushering in a wave of disruptive breakthroughs in school-based learning, with the twin goals of scaling up quality education and augmenting each learner’s learning through a customized approach.

Challenges-

We are morally corrupt, treat our nation as a large dust bin and we like the rule of law only if it gets applied on ‘others’. A thief is a thief, only if he is caught! One may continue to steal but remains honourable till he is caught or gets a B report from the authorities.

Current Policy: Some education is better than No education!

Children who should be in school aren’t; for those who are, their schools often lack the resources to provide adequate instruction. It is losing its relevance in an era of innovation, disruption and constant change. There is privatization of education. The buyers purchase the ‘education’ for a price. Merit is not hereditary. Education has lost its power. The essence of quality has been lost. 

Massification of education!

The expansion of higher education has been impressive. There are 40 million students. There are around 1100 and odd Universities- we need some 2000, controlling some 53000 colleges, we need a million of them. There is deterioration in standards of teaching. Examinations are a Joke! We are producing a large number of mere pass outs not even employable in India. Un-employability is a bigger menace than unemployment!

•            Enhance Postgraduate Capacity. Postgraduate education is a unique avenue to achieve improved employability. Only 36.7% Higher Education institutions have postgraduate programs, and merely 3.6% run PhD programs.

•            Build Research-Focused Institutions. Teaching and research are complementary. Involve research agencies actively involved in higher education policymaking.

•            The government must facilitate university-industry linkage to transfer knowledge from academic to applied settings.

•            Corporate endowments can help build sound infrastructure for research.

Graded autonomy to HEIs promotes academic freedom. Grant disbursals to HEIs should be handled independently, on the basis of merit.

Soft skills, teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving are some of the skills missing among new graduates rendering them “unemployable”. Additionally, classroom training at higher education levels can be credit-based with options to choose from a combination of subjects rather than the traditional approach of choosing a single stream. NEP may be the Way forward!

India is one of the fastest-growing online education markets and over the next two years, should touch USD 1.96 billion. Internet usage in India seems to be driven by rural internet growth and usage is touching 566 million people. Investing in research could perhaps be the smartest way forward for India. These scholars can take the quality levels to international levels, driving the education sector forward.

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