India’s growth rate has come down in the past few years and to change the tides and make it accelerate, the country is going to need to focus on social sectors like education and healthcare. Although about half of the population is young with hot blood, because 33% of student in India are stunted, while 42% of students are unable to study in their mother tongue, much potential is not getting the way out to spread and flourish.
Quality of education and healthcare has fallen radically and it is important to focus on healthcare and education.
Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, expressed his concern that India’s growth is not possible till there is focus on key social sectors like education, health and nutrition. This is impossible without the right use of technology and right partners on the ground level. It is not possible for India to transform 21st century education in India with 19th century institutes.
Private players must step-in to bring about change in the social sectors, says government. Technology has much to offer including interactivity, interesting methodology and innovative solutions, unlike the commonly believed notion of it being that is is not offering anything of educational value. It is not supposed to be elite in India, rather a facility to all.
“The primary focus of the Trusts is to bring quality and equity in education. We see technology bringing equality for all. We don’t see bringing only digital literacy and tech savvy people to the classroom. We are using technology as a tool through which education content comes alive and is easily understood; and that is when the actual learning will take place,” says Nayantara Sabavala, Associate Director, Tata Trusts.
Where even literacy rate is handicapped, very little room is left to bring change in the quality of education. Economic and regional reasons continue to be a giant hurdle to the road of the development of the field. Although, a little rise is seen in school enrollment, quality of education has degraded to unavoidable levels.Also, age-appropriate learning continue to remain elusive.
Bringing great innitiatives, Tata Trusts have been focusing on providing quality education to children and adults, focusing gravely on the marginalized sections. With multiple initiatives like Integrated approach to Technology in Education (ITE); Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx), and strategic partnership with Khan Academy, Tata Trusts have been striving to bridge this gap.
Amrita Patwardhan, Head, Education Portfolio, Tata Trusts added, “Most of the education portfolio work is rural, and we have specifically focused on tribal areas and areas that need public funding. Some of the resources we have developed are opensource and available for everyone to access. We have three main projects, integrated approach to technology in education to improve teaching and learning processes; Connected learning initiative, which aims to build an ecosystem with technology led educational offering for high school students & teachers; and partnership with Khan Academy where NCERT curriculum, for grades 3 – 12, is translated into different languages and is available both online and offline.”