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Indian Education System Need to Gear up to Meet Triple Challenges of Access, Affordability and Quality

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The President of India Pranab Mukherjee said, “in the context of teaching, we have to overcome the twin challenges of closing the vacancy gap expeditiously and also attracting meritorious people to this profession”.

He said, “A flexible approach to mitigate shortage of teachers is needed. Adjunct faculty from industry and research institutions can be hired. They would provide an industry orientation in the higher education pedagogy. Specialists from abroad could inject new ideas. The Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN) is a welcome step in this direction.”

More details on President’s speech on education challenges in India:

Our President said, that over 40 crore students are likely to seek education at different levels by 2016. Our education system has to gear up to meet the triple challenges of access, affordability and quality.

This task is compounded by the fact that 30 crore youth have been envisaged for skills training by 2022. To my mind, technology-led models could offer a viable solution in the education and skills delivery landscape.

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have come up in a big way since it first started in 2008. Leading universities of the world have applied this technology model to provide quality education to larger number of education seekers.

Important points covered by the President are as follows:

    • Rich course content and flexible programmes, innovative tools of evaluation and periodic classroom interaction in the form of Modified MOOCs.
    • Interactive MOOCs can also power vocational training and improve delivery of skills knowledge.
    • Mobile phone technology can also act as an enabler for formal and vocational education.
    • Skills training & education content from best institutions can be made available on mobiles.
    • ICT tools like the National Knowledge Network have to be used extensively for collaboration of ideas, knowledge and academic resources.
    • A developing country like India needs innovative solutions to issues in renewable energy.
    • Climate change, drinking water, sanitation to be focused more.
    • And urbanization is as important as other factors for india.
    • Research promotion at the under-graduate level could facilitate this objective..

Our universities have to be the breeding grounds for creative pursuits and cutting-edge technology. They have to inculcate a scientific temper and a spirit of inquiry in their students.

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Praveen Jain
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