As Digital India Takes Shape It Will Be Crucial To Transform Indian Education through Technology To Make Indian Graduates Globally Competent for Jobs in Industry 4.0 Era

India – 5th December, 2018

MAIT, the apex body representing India’s IT hardware, training and R&D service sectors in association with Dell and Microsoft today launched a report “EduVision 2018 – Transforming Education Through Technology Adoption”. The report discusses in-depth on how to deploy technology in Indian schools, colleges and universities with the goal of making education more inclusive by reducing access and cost barriers; ensuring quality curriculum delivery; effectively monitoring learning outcomes; and empowering teachers to deploy corrective measures when needed.

India’s rapid economic growth has powered the ambition and rise of its 1.3 billion citizens with a renewed focus on developing a world-class education system. More than 50 percent of India’s population is under the age of 25 and government officials recognise that sustained investment in education is vital to promote long-term growth and equip students with 21st century skills. Furthermore, India has one of the largest education systems in the world, with an estimated 285.5 million students enrolled in more than 1.6 million primary and secondary schools, and over 29.6 million enrolled in more than 48,000 institutes of higher education. The Indian Government however, faces massive challenges as it looks to provide universal and high-quality education across the country. Despite significant government and private-sector investments in education, learning outcomes have stagnated in recent years, and secondary school dropout rates hang over 17 percent, according to the Lok Sabha. To bridge the gap, the Government is advancing an ambitious set of reforms under the Digital India initiative to catalyse the growth of India’s digital economy and bridge digital divide and encourage students, teachers, and administrators to leverage Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools inside and outside the classroom to improve learning outcomes.

Today, India’s National Policy of ICT in School Education underscores the government’s commitment to providing universal, equitable access to state-of-the-art-tools to students and teachers. India’s education sector offers a great opportunity with approximately 29 per cent of India’s population being between the age group of 0-14 years. The education sector is estimated at US$ 91.7 billion in FY18 and is expected to reach US$ 101.1 billion in FY19. Moreover, India has over 250 million school going students, more than any other country. It also has one of the largest networks of higher education institutions in the world with over 36.64 million students enrolled in higher education in 2017-18.

To identify new and high-impact opportunities in Education sector, MAIT came up with the initiative of partnering with the government, academia and expert groups from the IT Industry to compile a detailed EduVision Report which was launched at the event. EduVision 2018 analyses gaps in the current education landscape, offers policy recommendations for the National Policy on Education aimed at improving education access and quality through ICT interventions, and provides recommended guidelines for corporate social responsibility investments in education.

Quotes

“It is time we look at our nation with a different perspective. Education has helped us to move from thumb to signature to technology (through biometrics). We have readily adopted technology and thumb through biometrics. Technology penetration in the education system is the need of the hour and there is huge technological divide across the country. We, at MAIT, believe that the four most important and indispensable elements of ICT enabled classrooms are hardware, content, internet connectivity and power. Basis our understanding, very few schools in India have all the four elements that are essential to having a functioning and effective ICT enabled classroom. For us to succeed as a nation we will need to rapidly move ahead with integration of technology in education and we at MAIT will continue to drive this mission,” said Nitin Kunkolienker, President of MAIT.

“Education is perhaps the most important cornerstone of this digital transformation and in order to prepare for this wave of change, building digital skills is as essential as creating digital infrastructure,” said P. Krishnakumar, Vice President, MAIT. “Skilling and innovation are not only the outcome of education, but also the throughput. Despite the Government formulating policies and dedicating funds to ensure adoption of IT enabled classrooms at the school level, the impact and outcome remain largely waning. We understand that the challenge is not that of willingness, but that of last mile implementation of all the four elements. We need to equip our teachers, parents, and school administrators with the knowledge of how ICT can make their delivery more effective, measurable and efficient. This would be an important pivot on which skills for the future can be developed,” further commented Krishnakumar.

“The only way we can embark on to truly become a Digital and Knowledge economy, where we play a part in creating these disruptions, rather than just consuming them. We need to ensure our educational systems create a problem solving, innovative, entrepreneurial mindset in the students, which will spur thousands of new ‘job creators’ instead of just ‘job seekers’,” said R. Ramanan, Additional Secretary NITI Aayog. “Fostering innovation and the spirit to unlearn and relearn will be at the heart of this transformation. For this, the entire ecosystem of education will have to be considered: students, teachers, administrators and policy makers are all important stakeholders of this equation. Many disruptive innovation initiatives including Atal Innovation Mission’s Tinkering labs are initial steps in this direction. We need to look at many more,” further said Ramanan.

“We are committed to incorporating the technology to reform education for students and make our youth future-ready with the 21st century digital skills and are deeply interested to build a foundation in education system where technology is integral to success of not only the education system but also students who are ready for the digital world,” said Ms. Rina Ray, Secretary –SEL, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. “If we look at secondary schools, irrespective of government or private, all of them are excellently equipped with technology. The real challenge lies in reaching out to primary schools somewhere in Mizoram or in a border of Arunachal Pradesh, or on top of a mountain in Uttarakhand. Around 70% of schools fall under this category,” further said Ray.

The report focuses on the following five pillars:

1. Capacity Building – to strengthen all the stakeholders which include students, teachers, parents and specially mothers, and administration

2. E-Content – Ways to explore on how it complements traditional leraning

3. ICT infrastructure – Proposes roadmap for school maturity model

4. Research & Development – Measures to scale up teacher-student and peer-to-peer accessibility

5. Monitoring Assessment and Evaluation – Recommendation for uniform digital dashboard to track a school’s progress

EduVision 2018’s key recommendation for integrating technology in Education includes:

1. State and Central Government officials should encourage schools to incorporate technology into classrooms, in order to enhance the quality of teaching and provide students access to more engaging, diverse, and modern online learning materials.

2. Teachers should leverage ICT tools to connect local education ecosystems to real world experts and incorporate proven methods of engaging students to advance learning outcomes. Basis the usage of ICT tools, teachers and schools should be awarded a ‘Certification of Achievement’ from the Ministry of Human Resource Development under the National Award to Teachers.

3. Educators must receive training on online modules / online training to improve their digital literacy and to encourage the development and use of e-Content.

4. ICT tools need to be used to measure & evaluate student learning outcomes and teacher performance. This will empower teachers to deploy interventions as necessary and improve the national policy decision-making process, by providing accurate local data.

About MAIT

MAIT was set up in 1982 for purposes of scientific, educational and IT Industry promotion, Representing Hardware, Training, R&D & Hardware Design and other associated service segments of the Indian IT Industry. MAIT’s charter is to develop a globally competitive Indian IT Industry, promote the usage of IT in India, strengthen the role of IT in national economic development, promote business through international alliances, promote quality consciousness in the IT Industry and transform the Indian IT Industry into a world-class industry. MAIT is recognized by both Govt. and Industry for its role in the growth & development of the IT Hardware industry in India and has emerged as a strong & effective mouthpiece of the industry.