Innovation in Education of ‘India Shining’

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From the last decade, I have read many articles on India Shining. I also listened to many talks and public addresses on ‘India 2020 Vision’ and some of its success stories. These success stories invariably talked about the pioneering companies like Infosys, Tata, Wipro, and many others. One of the articles even mentioned that in the period of recession where there were job cuts worldwide, we Indian employees had a luxury of jobs options.  All these articles portrayed how our ‘Incredible India’ has been shining. But, with this glorious and comforting picture, most of these articles also expressed a concern or I can even say ‘warning’ about the quality of manpower supply in the Indian industries.

I agree to this general concern to some extent. The pioneers of our ‘India Shining’ story have managed to solve this problem by providing extra emphasis on employee training and screening the right candidates. But this does not solve the problem in the education system which produces poorly-employable graduates.

While we try to gauge this problem, the factors driving global job market are changing. India is no more the only cost-effective jobs outsourcing destination. Other countries like Romania and Philippines are becoming cheaper and gradually competent outsourcing destinations. From this point onwards, we have two options – first, we strive to become technically more competent and economically more affordable (but continue to depend on other countries to bring jobs in India) or second, we innovate ourselves and create jobs in India for our graduates. For both the options, the employability of graduates is the most important issue which needs to be resolved on urgent basis.

If we analyze and dig roots of this problem, one of the roots points us to our post independence education system and its serious issues. Believe me, there is no shortcut to solve these issues. The only way to solve them is to build a strong foundation of education system that is based on sustainable values. Only this can create a healthy, creative, competitive, and smart employee work-force.

For this vision to happen in real, we need innovation in almost all aspects of education.  Few of these innovations are:

  • New content/course: Today we have number of national organizations which looks into syllabus designing.  While the text books are changing as per the time, they also need to be more application-oriented.  It should also evoke curiosity and develop lateral (or ‘out-of-the-box’ is what we call) thinking in students. While looking at the NCERT/CBSE/State Board’s syllabus design and the text books, we can see that the efforts to bring out these skills in the students are made. But, with the available infrastructure and political will, only the text books can’t go much further to develop these skills. We need to rely on teachers to bring this change.
  • Alternative Teaching Approaches: This is the core of any education system.  Several aspects can be related to this area such as teaching with more visual effects or aids, open classes, interactive learning, introduction of digital content, teaching via story-telling, and a few others. These approaches would help to build better conceptual understanding and would make learning a fun-filled process. This would also help to build better teacher-students relationship.
  • Evaluation Techniques: Skills that we want to develop using our education system such as abstract things, lateral thinking, innovation, and leadership cannot be evaluated by conventional evaluating techniques.  We need innovative methods to evaluate such skills.
  • Information Delivery and Knowledge Creation Tools: Though these do not directly affect the learning process, they definitely ease it for students and teachers. It frees up time for teachers to focus on more important aspects of teaching.
  • Drivers of these innovations:  The main drivers of innovation in education are schools and teachers. But it cannot be limited to them. Parents, child psychologist, educationalist, and all other stakeholders have to equally partner to realize this dream.

These innovations need to be implemented in today’s education system to live tomorrow’s future. There are some people and organizations passionately working towards realizing this future. They definitely are the silver lining of ‘India Shining’ dream.

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