The 2014-15 interim budget was a boon for people who had availed educational loans. Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram announced a moratorium period for all education loans taken till March 31, 2009, and outstanding as of March 31, 2013. He added that the government will take over the liability for outstanding interest as on December 31, 2013, but the borrower would have to pay interest for the period after April 1, 2014. This would benefit around 900,000 student-borrowers. He added that the interest subsidy scheme was introduced in 2009-10 for education loans disbursed after April 1, 2009, while students who had borrowed prior to that date deserve some relief.
The relief by educational loans waiver was offset by the board exams just round the corner and students preparing for the mock-tests after completing the course, clearing doubts and doing last-minute revision. As the exam draws near, a large number of students complain of stress-related headache, queasiness, vomiting and insomnia. To ease this exam phobia, schools have started innovative activities like online counseling, surprise home visits, yoga, easy techniques to memorize and last-minute sessions to clear doubts.
Today, digital resources are available to schools for supporting their teaching, learning and preparing students for exams. Technology can enhance learning using tools like electronic grade books, digital portfolios, learning games, and real-time feedback on teacher and student performance. Technology links teachers to their students and to professional content, resources, and systems to help them improve their teaching and personalize learning.
Online learning opportunities and the use of open educational resources and other technologies can increase educational productivity by accelerating the rate of learning by reducing costs of instructional materials and program delivery and better utilizing teacher’s time. A variety of ICT solutions are available today to make the teaching-learning process more fun and dynamic. One of the most popular tools is digital labs.
This issue of digitalLearning Magazine gives an in-depth coverage of digital labs which are revolutionising education. It focuses on the core issues facing industry players involved in the creation of these cutting edge labs. Many schools, higher education institutes and vocational teaching centres in the country are trail-blazing, forward thinking, and are leaders in using Science, Math, English, Robotics, Language, and Virtual labs methodologies for teaching our young students. Trends in education are researched in-depth. This edition reviews PGDM courses, with a feature on how placements are affecting MBA admissions and looks at the relevance of Sports Education in India.
It features an event report on ‘School Leadership Summit-2014’, which saw participation of more than 150 schools and more than 15 corporate participants. The summit featured a workshop on life skills, value education and school wellness as well.