The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2012, released recently in New Delhi, shows that while the nation has achieved a lot in the field of education, mainly due to the creation of new infrastructure and deployment of digital technologies, a lot more work needs to be done to make the goal of inclusive education a reality. Many states are now distributing free laptops and tablets to students with the intention of promoting digital literacy. Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has announced a scheme to distribute 50 lakh laptops and 25 lakh tablets to all the students who pass out of class X and XII.
In the current issue of digitalLEARNING, we have tried to present an overview of the ways by which the rise of tablets is impacting our system of education. We have interacted with the industry leaders and also with the academia to discover how teaching systems are getting transformed. A lightweight tablet can store a large number of books; it can store every book in a student’s backpack plus every book in the school library, and support new ways of learning and teaching. There is no end to the benefits that we can expect.
In this issue, we have also highlighted the need to bridge the industry-academia gap. The figures released by NASSCOM paint a shocking reality – each year, over three million graduates and post-graduates are added to the Indian workforce. Out of these, only 25 percent of technical graduates and 10-15 percent of other graduates are considered employable by the rapidly growing IT and ITES segments. The country has to take adequate steps towards bridging the gap between the academia and the industry. We have interacted with some of the leading stakeholders in education to develop strategies for addressing this core issue.
We are holding the State Education Summit 2013 Punjab, in Chandigarh, on February 7 and 8, 2013. The key objective of the summit is to highlight all the achievements made by the state of Punjab in the field of education. Key stakeholders of education from the state and from the rest of the country will be participating in the summit. As education is a universal subject, the outcomes of the summit will be applicable to all parts of the country. We look forward to seeing you at the State Education Summit 2013 Punjab, and participating in the invigorating rounds of discussion on the ways by which the reach and scope of education can be improved in Punjab and the rest of India.
Dr Ravi Gupta