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Chairman, Franchise India
RAISING THE BAR
Re-orienting EDUCATION for the 21st century needs
In the last half a millennium, the role of a teacher has remained more or less the same - teach a lesson, give out assignments, conduct tests to see if the student has understood properly what they've learnt. But the question is - Is that enough in today's world?
The other industries are getting disrupted radically, largely on the back of digital technologies, while the education processes and structures have barely changed. We need to recognise the fact that Indian education system will simply become 'obsolete', if it does not meet the needs of the present and future generation. The classrooms, whether preschool or K-12, needs more collaborative or participative approach with teachers playing an interactive role that will humanise learning for the 21st century.
If they say that change always begins from the top, well then our PM Narendra Modi's Digital India & Skill India Mission has thrown up a great growth opportunities for the Indian education system and also for the 500 million Indians to get skill training in order to prepare themselves for a New India.
When we work with an adaptive education system to meet the needs of the 21st century, we need to ask questions such as - What skills and knowledge will be needed in the transition to sustainability? This year's theme for the Indian Education Congress 2015 is 'Innovation by Uniting Change with Sustainability' - Imparting practical learning that not merely educates but fulfils the needs of Indian youth, whether it is for employment or self-employment. The objective of the Congress is to develop or re-energise existing educational institutions. It reflects all three dimensions of innovative sustainable development i.e., Economic, Social and Environmental.
Start-up education, technology entrepreneurs, and educational institutions & trusts need to do more and better with less by simultaneously expanding access, ensuring quality, increasing relevancy and raising the levels of industry-fit for students entering the economy, while meeting individuals' need for values, knowledge, skills and competencies for sustainable living and participation in the society.