Where is Indian Education Heading in the Coming Decades?
The education sector in India has witnessed several crests and troughs since Independence. From a paltry 12% in 1947, the literacy rate spiked to an impressive 74.04% in 2018.
The current vision is to make every Indian citizen literate within the next decade. However, for a country with such geographical and demographic diversity, it’s easier said than done. The challenges and opportunities are almost similar in magnitude. Therefore, all approaches we take both at macro and micro levels in the next few years will determine the future of Indian education.
A future of mixed possibilities
The future of Indian education has always been a matter of heated debate. Leading educationists and social scientists predict a few things we might soon see in this field.
Before going into the possibilities, let’s look at some of the challenges that Indian education faces.
- Government expenditure on education has left many wanting for more. The highest that the Indian Government has ever allocated to education is 4.3% of its GDP.
For comparison, Sweden spends 7.7% of its GDP on education, while New Zealand spends 7.2%. Even Bhutan allocates 7.4% of its GDP towards education.
- Improving the quality of education at all levels is paramount at this stage of our nation’s development. Most educationists believe that the Indian curricula and mode of teaching are grossly inept in training students for the future in this internet age.
- The state of the education infrastructure is also a matter of grave concern. A video clip recently made rounds on many news channels where teachers were seen teaching their class to wear bike helmets for protecting themselves from the debris of the broken building.
- Penetration of schools and colleges in rural areas is exceptionally low.
- The student-teacher ratio (STR) in India is also dismally low.
According to a report by the District Information System for Education, 8.32% of schools in India have just one teacher.
The road ahead
The future of any nation depends on the education level of its populace. Indian education is in the process of reinventing itself to stay in tune with the changing times. Here are a few changes that we might expect sooner rather than later.
1. Online tutoring
One of the biggest boons of the internet is that it has made education accessible to even the remotest part of the country.
Online tutoring in India is slowly but steadily picking up pace. A report by KPMG in association with Google estimates that this sector is primed to see an eight-fold increase by 2021 compared to 2018.
Several online classes providing Ed-Tech companies like Vedantu have already gained mass recognition, and their reach is increasing with each passing day.
2. Education that complements employment
A recent survey has found that 94% of the 1.5 million engineers who enter the job market every year are unemployable.
The current education system, which primarily focuses on rote learning, doesn’t prepare them for contemporary jobs. What we can expect in the next few years is a gradual shift towards employment-centric education.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence has already entered our living rooms with Alexa and Google Home; there’s no reason that it cannot enter schools. Use of AI in educational institutions can tackle many challenges such as the low STR and also ensure uniformity across various regions.
4. Implementing Tech in teaching
We can also expect to see the inclusion of modern tools and technology in the way teachers conduct their classes. Learning Management System (LMS), for example, is an up and coming technology which can help teachers in planning, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses effectively. Moreover, the backbone of the school syllabus - NCERT Solutions, are also readily available on the internet which is just a click away.
All things considered, education in India needs to undergo a paradigm shift to stay relevant in this digital age. The pace might be sluggish as of now, but we are definitely headed in that direction.
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