COVID-19’s silver linings: Makeover of the Indian education system

Change is the only constant as said by many learned professionals and moving away from your comfort zone only makes you accept challenges beneficial for your own future.

The Indian ecosystem of education has ever since been evolving however, a lot has been done to upscale the talent by skilling and creating a new India. What is even more astonishing is that skilling has been in the system with vocation education doing the rounds off late with ‘Skill Development’ and ‘Make in India’. How much have we achieved or has the Indian Education system just evolved yet to accept the recent challenges that the COVID-19 has thrown at us?

Meeting industry requirements through capable talent that delivers results on the job is the plus that experiential learning or skill development training institutions across India has been able to achieve and have won accolades too. However, this has gone a level above where the global Pandemic has transformed the way education system would function going forward.  shift has offered new solutions in the field of education. The new configuration has made us understand that the next cycle of progression in the education industry will have to be driven by the 4 E’s: ed-tech, e-learning, e-content and entrepreneurship to bring much needed innovation.

Institutions off late have been adopting to the mix of offline and online education programs which is still at a nascent stage. The gigantic crisis of COVID-19 will change the entire ecosystem of how traditional education infrastructure functioned with a lot more focus on online programs or a mix of online and offline programs which would need both students and academicians to adopt.

Tech and education need to be integrated which would be the first step to evolve the education infrastructure in India. A synergy between technology and education will help the educationalists to capture suitable data points mapping the learning inclinations of students. Based on these trends, customised learning modules for students can be drafted.

Open online Universities with options to learn anytime anywhere would pave new pedagogies which would also be chosen by the student for the student. It is also important that these Universities develop a model on allowing students to curate pedagogies / curriculums that they are interested in. This model would be student centric and would be far more beneficial for heterogeneous learner’s society like India. Learning methodologies can be focused on being learner centric and should be specifically designed to meet the requirements of students across all regions. Which is why it is necessary to develop this model in regional languages to achieve the motto of ‘Education for all and everyone’.

The edtech model will offer flexibility in learning by offering a great deal of content, interaction, reinforcement, and real-time feedback. An integrated learning with no time confinements allowing learning at their own pace is the need of the hour. The integration of technology with education would address India’s crisis for trained and experienced human capital and would embark on entrepreneurial mindsets to bridge in the gap of unemployment making them accessible to the world through the online

The edtech learnings leaning towards entrepreneurship will develop skills of critical-thinking, communication and collaboration. This will not only help in making them forward thinking individuals but also will develop in them, a nimbleness to adapt the rapid change shaping their own careers.

To conclude, time has now come to devise and implement innovative learning systems to help build a strong entrepreneurial culture and equip the future generation with skills and mindsets that will empower them to navigate the newer world with confidence. The pandemic is an opportunity to remind ourselves that, “The end is never the end. It’s always the beginning of something.”

Prof. (Dr.) Ravi Kumar Goyal and Dr. Mredu Goyal, School of Entrepreneurship Skills, Bhartiya Skill Development University Jaipur

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