India is home to the world’s largest and youngest population of 450 million ranging from 5 to 24 years old. This means India’s young workforce is growing steadily against the world’s ageing population. All the more reason for Indian students to be backed by qualitative and competitive education that readies them to meet the forthcoming global demand. It’s a tall order but India can step up to the challenge by acutely identifying and addressing problem areas.
As per an article in the India Education Review, India has over 2 lakh middle and senior schools and 6,50,000+ primary schools. It’s a $90 billion industry with allocation per child increasing from $390 in 2010 to $800 in 2012. The merit of these impressive figures can be amplified by entrenching quality in every aspect of education.
Which brings us to the next point – where does the current quality of the Indian education system stand?
PISA (Project for International Student Assessment) an international comparative survey assessed 46,000 students (15 years of age) on knowledge, reading, mathematics and science.
The two states representing India, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh came up 72nd and 73rd out of 74 in reading and mathematics. This result indicates the scale of improvement required to produce an educated workforce that meets global standards.
Let’s understand the pitfalls of the existing Indian education system.
Flaws in the Indian education system
The issues hampering quality in education are:
- Teacher-student ratio: A ratio of 1:20 or 1:30 is an ideal teacher-student ratio. Currently, a ratio of 1:40 is the average.
- Teacher-learning solutions: From the CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation) system to digital learning aids, integration in the curriculum is not synchronized, leading to ineffective teaching.
- Overburdened staff: Teachers often manage administrative work along with teaching which shifts their focus and hinders quality.
- Inadequate training for teachers: In a fast-paced tech-savvy world, teachers require adequate and timely trainings to optimize on tools and equipment.
Issues such as these are crippling the education system of India, disseminating literacy but not education. We must meet these challenges head-on to have our education system churn out a truly global workforce.
Raising the bar of Indian education
Here the standard of education can be improved via multiple approaches. Technology is one. And why technology? Mainly because technology has been successfully implemented in businesses and corporate industries already. So why not the education industry?
Also, it’s the modern age. Most people including children have access to at least one electronic device. What better way for schools, faculty, teachers, parents and students to engage this segment?
Technology to the rescue
Comprehensive and holistic use of technology will bolster the education industry significantly. Technology solutions from smart boards, interactive white boards, computers, and school management systems can make the process of receiving and delivering education a lot more impactful.
The most evident advantages of technology include:
- Enhanced learning: Visual and audio aids capture students’ interest more than taking notes from a blackboard or reading from a textbook.
- Active learning: Students are motivated to think for themselves and explore concepts on their own – the teacher can simply present a theme for the students to discover for themselves.
- Time and energy saver for teachers: A teacher can focus more on devising quality content sessions with technology aiding in enhancing learning outcomes.
- Augment learning outcomes: A teacher can use a variety of media and tools to deliver enriching lessons that have higher recall.
- Automation of school and teachers’ functions: Online school management systems efficiently automate various administrative and operational tasks, allowing them more time for teaching-centric and school-centric roles.
- Enabling go green strategy: An online ERP reduces paperwork by maintaining digital records. Receipts and acknowledgements can be emailed rather than printed. Paper and printing costs are also reduced.
- Improved communication between schools and parents: School/teachers and parents/students can communicate instantly and track school developments and students’ performance in real-time through cloud based school management software.
Though technology can be a vehicle for quality education, multiple components of a school system must come together to drive overall positive results. Essentially, the goal must shift from solely teaching to active learning.
Key points of focus
Some the vital points to concentrate on are:
- Improving content: The availability of action-oriented content will help to build “actively thinking” students. The content has to be stimulating for the minds of the students.
- Changing frameworks: Redundant educational structures need to be replaced with innovative ones. The introduction of CCE is one step in the right direction.
- Integrating digital solutions with academic duties: An integration of digital solutions with the real-time scholastic sessions will help ease teachers’ workload.
- Adequate training for teachers: Regular trainings need to be scheduled for teachers. In the case of digital solutions, training from orientation to operation should be covered.
- Including private players: Private players stepping in can give a fresh dimension and perspective to education.
The education industry like everything else has to evolve with the times. Technology can help the Indian education industry move forward. A revolutionized method of learning will prepare the students to reach global standards. To be the workforce of tomorrow, they need the best education today.