Question 11) India needs to focus on quality and unique solutions through technology to improve delivery system of education. Comment. (250 words).
- In recent decades, India has increased school enrolment but struggled to deliver actual learning. An annual survey conducted by the NGO Pratham spotlights large learning deficits in basic reading and arithmetic.
- Only half of Class V students can read texts meant for Class II. More than half the students in Class VIII struggle to do simple division.
- Education technology (Edutech), mainly information and communication technology, can address these problems by delivering better lessons, training teachers and motivating students.
Uses of Technology in the Education Sector
- Edutech can help to deliver high-quality lessons in a variety of formats: text, video, games and interactive tutorials.
- A deeper benefit of Edutech is the ability to tailor lessons as per the progress of the student. For example, Mindspark, a computer-assisted learning software, delivers lessons through videos, games and questions on computers and tablets. The software analyses each student’s learning level pitches content suitable for this level and adjusts the difficulty according to the student’s progress.
- Edtech can also help in capacity building of the teachers. For example, Kenya’s literacy program Tusome, uses coaches equipped with tablets who visit classrooms, evaluate student reading skills, provide tailored advice to teachers and upload assessment data to administrators.
- Availability of broadband and hi-speed internet along with low-cost computers to tier 2 and tier 3 cities has made learning through distance mode seamless without any glitches.
- Use of technology-enabled teaching aids- projector, powerpoint presentation, animated tutorials, digital gadgets for notes making, etc. has made Classroom-based learning smart and adaptive to students’ needs.
- Online learning management system: Many colleges and universities in India are integrating online Learning Management System or LMS platform into their web portal. Students can remotely login to access course material and also attend live classes with teachers. Pre-recorded lectures, videos can be uploaded on the LMS platform making it easy for students to go through it multiple times.
Challenges of use of Education Technology in India
- Despite the early implementation of technologies in the education system, India still faces teething problems for the new technologies in education.
- Not enough or limited access to computer hardware & computer software in educational institutes.
- Lack of time in the school schedule for projects involving the use of technologies.
- Lack of adequate technical support and necessary infrastructure for educational institutes.
- Lack of sufficient teacher training.
- Lack of knowledge about ways to integrate technologies to enhance the curriculum.
- Education technologies integration is not a priority due to some vested interest.
- Students and Teachers do not have access to the necessary technology at home.
- Taking advantage of the edtech opportunity will require deep collaboration between the government, private sector and NGOs.
- To enable technology in India, computer-based learning system must be introduced from the junior level so that the students become computer savvy from a very young age and are not afraid of using Education Technology when actually needed.