Equalising Education Through Technology

Why should CBSE work on equalizing education by adopting various technology methods and how it would accomplish literacy amongst K12 students.

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2020-21 has been a bruising year for everyone across the globe, especially for India with the rise of the second wave and it is now quite uncertain about the situation and reopening of schools as 3rd wave being more harmful to the children. 

Recently, the GOI announced the cancellation of the 10th and 12th board examinations keeping in mind the safety of students in this uncertain situation which was an apt decision. However, with the vaccination drives running at full pace across the country, we still feel that it would take a long time to make children return to school and give physical presence as well as the examinations, and rather than seeing it as an inopportune situation, we shall see it as an opportunity to equalize the education across the country by taking full advantage of the technology, realizing the dream of 100% literate India. 

In this Pandemic, we saw how well the education industry transitioned to the digital side of the curve, with the rise in the number of Ed-Techs providing on-demand courses with certifications to the children and schools imparting knowledge online via video conferencing tools. Looking at these changes we can say that CBSE should work on some important changes in the education system which is now the need of the hour:

Future is Visual 

With the rise of EdTech’s and with the adoption of various video conferencing tools for imparting knowledge, the demand for video-based content is surely on a rise. The board can take the help of various EdTech startups to build an online library of various video lessons which could be distributed via a common portal or through various partnered websites which would make the content more equitable for both the rural and urban populations, as we on many instances come to know that there is a constant need for good teachers on the rural side. So by making these video lessons available to all we can reduce this demand and also make education equal for both urban and rural populations. 

Hybrid Model 

Let’s believe, even if the schools and educational institutions re-open, there would still be a need for a hybrid learning model for the children. As we have seen that people have become more familiar and comfortable with this distance learning model amid this pandemic, we can foresee that the demand for this type of educational model will surely be on the rise so the board should revamp the current curriculum and work on something more adaptive and future-ready like a mix of textbook + on-demand content which would help anyone to grasp the knowledge without the need of visiting the school physically, that means anyone who cannot afford school or cannot visit the school for any reason would not missout on education as long as they have a smartphone, laptop and internet connection. 

Evaluation and Examinations 

For years we have been evaluated, based on written examinations but considering the changes, there is a need to try and work on something new. The board should come up with various evaluation schemes in which the evaluation is based on various criteria’s like – constant evaluation based on class participation, the board could also increase the percentage of marks for project-based evaluation and include more team-based projects as this would help children gain more practical knowledge and team spirit and would make them ready for future job environments too. Where critical thinking and team spirit play a major role. We can also make use of AI to evaluate children with the development of adaptive academic plans, on the same hand reducing the need for written examinations as the only criteria for the evaluation. 

Rural India and Tier-II, Tier-III cities needs to be stressed upon 

When we compare Tier-I and metropolitan cities with the rest of the places, we can find that there is an advent digital divide which is been there for years and is now on the rise because of this digital shift, we are currently witnessing the rise of 4G & 5G in our society. Whenever we visit these places we are sure to be of complaining about one issue, which is low network connectivity and low connectivity means low data speeds, with which there is no point of children being able to concentrate on video-based lectures as the video and voice crackling, buffering are quite distracting in itself. To counter this the board with the help of the government should come up with some policies like – installation of highspeed network towers for increased connectivity, distribution of tabs loaded with educational content to the rural societies where people cannot afford them, installation of TV sets in various government schools in rural areas with educational channels loaded where installation of such towers is not possible to reduce this digital gap. 

It is the right time that the Board with the help of GOI should come up with a National Policy with the objective of making education more accessible by tampering with various technologies like bringing 4G and 5G coverage to each and every area in the country. Because of faster internet availability and growing technology, online learning like on-demand video lectures and the rise of EdTech’s gives a tremendous chance to democratise basic education and achieve India's long-held goal of 100 per cent literacy and K12 education.

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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