Learning Continuity in the Realm of Education 4.0

ESLT: Education Sector Landscape Transformation

                             The way forward for Education Sector

 The recent webinar conducted by Dr. Debarshi Mukherjee, Ph.D., M.B.A. on Learning Continuity in the realm of Education was very insightful and indulging.

The highly qualified and thorough professional, Dr. Mukherjee commenced the webinar with some facts, which he said, make the people in India rather “uncomfortable”. The crux of those facts were the shocking revelations made by a number of studies which showed that what is being taught in schools and colleges is not in sync with either the present professional requirements or the personal criteria of job satisfaction. Young graduates are either not getting placed or are compromising by accepting jobs that are lower than their expectations. The speaker even talks about this being one of the reasons for the spike in the Non-Performing Assets ratio to 10.2% as of March 2017. A study also shows that 65% of the present primary school students will end up doing jobs that don’t even exist right now!

These are indeed some uncomfortable facts but it made the viewers more inclined to watch ahead and listen to the speaker give some insights and suggestions to combat such a situation. The speaker then posed a few serious questions to the teachers as food for thought and something to ponder over. I felt the most important question was whether the teachers or any other professionals, are ready to acquire new skills and completely retain them in order to remain employed in the future? The educators’ style and methods of teaching is so imbibed in them that it takes a great effort to unlearn all that experience and re-learn something new and live with it. Are we willing to do that? Are we, the teachers, ready to step out of our comfort zone for this newfound normal? This is the most important primary step because only if we are ready to accept this change can we move forward and teach the learner something new which might be the foundation of what he does in his future.

The speaker takes the talk ahead and speaks about modern classrooms and the need of matured learners and how that can be achieved. He explains the design thinking as how the teaching methodology can be change so as to make the learners think and evolve from there. He does mention that there are limitations when it comes to a country like India with limited sources, but he still maintains that it will take time, but it can be accomplished.

To an extent use of LMS (Learning Management System for content sharing) and ERP solutions have allowed customized user interface for every user. It comes in handy to keep in check the performance of each and every candidate, not only that but right from attendance to the student behaviour and also where the student requires remedial guidance, etc.  Online assessment and data analysis enable teachers in understanding the student’s performances. It is also true that ubiquitous learning through internet enables increasing demand for distance learning courses.

In the present scenario, when the world is battling with Covid-19, and in similar such cases, the first thing that shuts down are schools because they are the most vulnerable to crises, but learning must not stop.

Students can remain connected through ubiquitous learning. The speaker explained the Flipped Classroom which reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering content, often online, outside of the classroom, where the learning can take place outside the classroom as well.

It is a challenge, but it has a lot of positive aspects to it.  It is because there benefits and people are already taking advantage out of it.  Even the government is going to go ahead with this.  A divide is surely going to be there, but over a period of time, the ones who are unable to avail, will eventually get hold of it even in the remotest areas.

It is an interesting fact that some teachers, industry professionals were of the opinion that e-learning wont progress, but the students felt that there should be technology augmentation in their curriculum and that digital content could be blended to their existing curriculum, as they could infer a lot of meaning out of it, which a teacher might not give.  For example, a video can play and give the same output multiple times, unlike a teacher.

With the help of LMS, humongous data sets about the student behaviour, his learning pattern, the variety of students and their profiles can be availed to find out how my students are learning, how they are learning, all of which comes in the realm of higher education ecosystem, which will contribute in augmenting the learning

Lastly the speaker talks about the non-traditional student. He says that the changing scenario of skill requirement has led to the growth of the non-traditional student that means there is a skill requirement and which means one can pick up that profession with affordable learning solutions with a quick return on investment along with course availability in multiple formats and career counselling support only for getting a better job as their top objective.

Education 4.0 moves with agility with short time focusing on impact and learn by doing method.  Students who require extra attention can be identified with the help of their academic performance graph and accordingly guided. Their progress can be mapped and with the help of academic alert systems and live statistics about the learner, they can be guided appropriately in real time environment by using these platforms.

                                              Education Sector landscape

 With this, Dr. Mukherjee concluded the session and emphasized on technology augmentation and also enlightened the need of Next Generation Education System (NGES).