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Awareness is the Biggest Ailment of Higher Education

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Unless people know how to use technology, it is useless to create new technological solutions for education

Dr Pankaj Mittal
Vice Chancellor,
BPS Mahila Vishwavidyalaya

Higher education system faces the problem of Expansion, Equity and Excellence. But the biggest problem of all is the  problem of awareness. Plethoras of technologies are available, but very few people know how to use it.

When we talk of Expansion, we talk about escalating the GER to 21 percent from the current 12 percent by end of the 12th Five Year Plan. The best way of increasing the ratio is by increasing the number of universities and colleges. We can also try to increase the intake capacity of the existing institutions. Public-Private Partnerships can be engineered. However, our government lacks the financial strength to increase the number of institutions or improve the quality of education being offered in the existing institutions.

Distance education is a viable option. There is a lot of divide in our country: divide between rich and poor; rural and urban; male-female divide and so on. Technology is a great equaliser. It brings together people from different sections of
the society.

Quality of teachers is the first and foremost thing that determines the quality of education. The issue of quality of teachers can be addressed by technology; we can have video lectures from the best teachers.

If we want to convert our demographic dividend to knowledge power, we have to market our education and technology to spread awareness. Unless people know how to use technology, it is useless to create new technological solutions for education.


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