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Emerging Education and Tech Trends

As India and other countries around the world gear up to reopen after COVID-19, the question arises- Is the current societal model feasible? If not, what changes in the model are necessary to survive the multi-faceted crisis at hand?

The education sector in India, which was formerly slow to change, has become a spectator of massive transformation since 2020 with volatile technological disruptions, uncertain job landscape, heightened demand for quality education, and the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The pandemic has shaken up the core of the entire schooling structure, from forced closures during the lockdown period to the transition of students and teachers to online teaching-learning instead of traditional classrooms. In India, around 250 million students were affected due to school closure at the onset of lockdown induced by COVID-19, which has widened the existing learning inequality divide to a great extent. Schools’ sudden closing and reopening have left a substantial psychological impact on students and staff with several alarming implications in public and private schools, including an expected rise in dropouts, learning losses, and an increase in the digital divide. The pandemic also raised the question about the systems’ willingness, including teachers, to handle such a crisis and the sustainability model of private schools.

COVID-19 has acted as a stimulus for digital alteration in school education. However, a careful plan of action must be built to smoothen children’s transition back to school post-pandemic. This transition has to be smooth considering the learning losses over the previous year. It must also take a futuristic approach to build a resilient system to handle any future shock.

NEP 2020 and succeeding government initiatives such as National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) and National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat) provide this transformation draft. These were brought together by industry heads, policymakers and service providers together on a platform to deliberate on the road to recovery for schools post the pandemic. It analyses the impact of the pandemic across numerous themes and maps the various initiatives undertaken by governments and civil society organizations to address the challenges.

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Many crucial discussions on some important thematic areas of school education in the post-pandemic period such as the role of digital technology in impacting the teaching-learning process, a roadmap to the quality relationship between student and educator, systemic interventions redefining the role of teachers as ‘edupreneurs’, solutions bridging the learning gaps in curriculum, pedagogy and assessments and strategies for ensuring the sustainability of private schools are yet to be ventured. It remains to be seen how all concerned stakeholders grapple with the post-pandemic practical difficulties while building an equitable, inclusive, and holistic education system for the country.

The worrying trend of mobile phone misuse by children is emerging from both rural and urban areas. The parents are worried over the incidents stating that it was getting difficult to distract the children from the mobile phones.

Mobiles are also used to carry unfair means in the examination. Students are using mobiles to copy material which is helpful to get marks. In this context, the groups make the candidates successful in the analyses. Data hacking has also been used in this regard.

Mobiles are also misused in connection with chatting and wastage of time. The youth is involved in chatting all the time. The young people make them engaged in sharing their thoughts and expressing their ways of love all the time. The result brings a failure in their lives. These activities bring a great disaster for the youth of the country.

By Sushma Singhvi, Founder, Gunjan Foundation