Due to the COVID pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty in various walks of life and various sectors. As all of us are aware, Education is also a sector that has paused, and faces uncertainties. Both near term to mid-term uncertainties.
Education sector in India, early childhood education, school education, and Higher Education, are mostly Government regulated. Even the private schools and colleges, Universities are quasi-regulated by State Governments or Central Government bodies.
Most countries have been measuring their spend on Education as a percentage of GDP of their respective economies.
What is this spend on? Is it expenditure or an Investment. At the level of country’s budgets, for spend, my personal view is it should be truly an Investment, and not an expenditure. The Country, Governments, Regulatory boards should perceive spend on Education systems as an Investment in the “current students”, and the investment in the future of creating responsible citizens of the country. who carry through the culture, belief systems, and a collect of responsible citizens. May be will become future leaders.
Whether it is private unaided schools, or fully owned Government school, the goals are the same – to shape characters, individuals, who will be best in their chosen areas; life Sciences, Astrophysicists, Chartered Accountants, Legal advisors, and working professionals
This will repay huge dividend, particularly with the demographic divided, that the country can leverage on by investing in Education & Training.
One of the fundamental requirements, when the Education system has hit a halt, and we did not have a plan to B deal with it. The LockDown Period would have been useful for all the “parties to come together :Government,
This isolation of natural practices are completely violated in parts of the word, that in turn gives rise outbreaks of pandemics Let us understand the situation in practical terms. Due to COVID crisis, students are unable to come to schools. How long this will continue in uncertain. So, that gives us two options: Discontinue delivering Education or leverage on available technology, improvise on it, and be creative in how it is used. Most schools are delivering education online. Some of them just do lectures online, and some of them at the top end of the spectrum do it more creatively. Providing toolkits for teachers and also for students, specific to their requirements. The toolkits comprising of curative digital interactive content… all countries of the world.
There are many agency’s that make decisions about when to conduct exams, when to provide internal assessment grades etc. They are inconsistent particularly because so many regulatory bodies are involved we can contradicting and inconsistent directions. Sorting all this out and coming to a consensus should happen before hand. The directions from a single point of contact in the government and the authorities. This may be dynamic as we all know the COVID situation is uncertain and fragile.
As as a Nation we are all serious and committed bout the future of Education &Research in our country we should plan for a time untilCIVID lasts, and another plan to return to normal or a new normal. At this point in time the NCOVID oread is increasing, we have hope of medical trial that are at various stages and we will wait for it to become available until then.
As a nation we can afford to invest in education using different models, but it should not be stopped,
Today, Our pride of country are many Engineers and Doctors in western countries, contributing significantly to solve many scientific and Engineering challenges. we are proud of them. Most of the are of Indian origin and did their school and collegiate education in India.
The COVID crisis has put a pause on emigration of brilliant Indian talent to emigrate to other countries, and while that lasts we have the unenviable tasks of building our Education infrastructure fir Education, and particularly for research. With Such good Education Infrastructure we will be able plan the brain-drain in the other direction. We should plan a strong India, with one of the world’s largest Educated people, Educators and highquality Research.
While all the above is not fantasy, there has to be a unified lean body of eminent thinkers who will provide consistency to the direction provide to all aspects of Education. Let us not waste too much time. Teamwork at the highest levels is required to educate, develop research centres, high quality academic programs even if it requires some radical thinking.
THIS IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR. LET US WORK COLLECTIVELY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
India should become the destination of students from other countries to come and to their academic programs herein India.
Let us all work together to accomplish this I hope our Hon. Prime Minister is seized of reforms to be brought into education system at all levels we should should be proud of an excellent education & Research ecosystem.