Innovation In Education Is In Safe Hands Of The Next-gen Entrepreneur
The National Education Policy 2020 coincidently surfaced during this period after 3 decades and some of the most significant changes or reforms captured have been in the areas that cannot be implemented without technology support.
My last article on expectations from a young entrepreneur was published 2 years back – I was inspired to write that article after my experience as a jury member in BW-Disrupt 40 Under 40, Year 2018. Interactions with the young nominee entrepreneurs and leaders (representing diverse industries) then gave me an intellectual high and made me realise how fortunate we are as a country in producing such young talented value creators and enhancers in the Indian business landscape.
Cut to the Year 2020 - I had the privilege and honour yet again to be part of a pedigree jury panel for another exciting evaluation process of 40 under 40 …except this time it was in the field of education and education technology-related areas. The timing for Businessworld’s BW-Education’s hunt for 40 young Edu-preneurs and Ed-techpreneurs could not have been better – Two game-changers that in my opinion would redefine education delivery in India had surfaced – (1) The Pandemic caused by COVID 19 & (2) The National Education Policy 2020.
COVID-19 simply ensured that the education sector walks the talk in the areas of how technology and digital support would enhance the delivery of education. Many debates and discussions had happened in the pre-COVID days in many education conferences and seminars. They mostly remained confined to large applause from the audience and a few good examples of Ed-Tech and academia joining hands to drive better efficiencies in education. On execution, however, neither did we see many scales nor did we see replicable measures and we certainly did not see the kind on investments that were required to take education to the masses and children in the hinterland of India. The discussions on the execution of how to make academia and technology integration for the better good of a child’s learning and take key stakeholders like Teacher and Parent along are now more visible and have assumed more seriousness.
The National Education Policy 2020 coincidently surfaced during this period after 3 decades and some of the most significant changes or reforms captured have been in the areas that cannot be implemented without technology support. Key areas like Continuous professional development for teachers, making the learning process more interesting and experiential, a more pragmatic and effective way of assessments and may other areas will need a strong technology to power the end objectives without of-course compromising on the human touch that will always be needed in the education ecosystem.
With the above two game-changing moments as a backdrop, the high pedigree jury led by the very revered Dr Prof Anil Sahashrabudhe evaluated what I considered as one of the most intellectually savvy and future thinking set of young entrepreneurs in our last round before the final 40 was chosen. I enjoyed the conversations as one of the Jury members with each of the finalists and was amazed by their thought process, their achievements to date, their grand plan for education in the coming half a decade and the confidence they brought to their conviction. Who would have imagined that India would produce youngsters who have plans to create a curriculum in gardening, young minds who have developed practices to drive better outcomes amongst the children of the tribal belt, ed-techpreneurs who have enabled scalable processes to offer quality career guidance en masse, digital platforms to impart more interesting learning pedagogy, designed methodologies to simply bring back the habits of reading amongst children, disruptors who have shown youngsters the path to alternative off the beaten path career with value and so many more innovative ideas that have been executed and are set to drive scale and access to children across the length and breadth of the country.
I had a selfish outcome to be on the jury board – how else could I have had the opportunity to learn so much during this exercise – I can safely and confidently say that Innovation in India’s education is in safe hands …or rather in sharp minds of dynamic youngsters who have made it a mission to change the Indian education landscape for the better.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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