Digital Learning: Empowering Youth

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Sajan Paul, Director, Systems Engineering - India & SAARC, Juniper Networks

Sajan Paul, Director, Systems Engineering – India & SAARC, Juniper Networks

‘Digital Learning’ is the future of education in India, shares Sajan Paul, Director, Systems Engineering – India & SAARC at Juniper Networks with Elets News Network (ENN). He believes that the mass adoption of digital learning will not only address the accessibility and quality education concerns, but also empower billions of children and youth in the hinterlands of India

‘Access’ to all and ‘quality’ of education are the major fault lines in the education system in India. What role can technology play in bridging these fault lines?

Technology adoption in the education sector is highly relevant in the Indian context because of massive deficit of access to high quality education at the primary and high school level. India’s education sector is grappling with host of challenges, including geographical distribution to socio-economic condition of learners, cost of quality education, poor infrastructure and amenities at government schools, teacher absenteeism and low teacher-student ratio.

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Increased adoption of technology will enable the country to counter all of the above issues, here and elsewhere, making it more affordable and accessible. Today, several edutech solutions are on offer that are allowing access and quality like never before. The government has been emphasising on e-learning to be introduced in all schools as part of the larger Digital India programme. The programme itself is a right step in this direction to provide good quality education to all.

Being in the technology-enabled learning space, how can your organisation contribute in bridging the education fault lines?

Being a technology enabler, Juniper has a lot to contribute for transforming India’s education sector. Xavier University Bhubaneshwar (XUB) started operations at its new state-of-the-art campus with a complete network infrastructure supplied by Juniper Networks. The new campus network has allowed XUB to scale to support up to a ten-fold increase in students.

The campus network currently serves about 1,000 full-time students and 80 staff, based on an architecture that will enable the university to scale up to 10,000 students while maintaining low operational overhead and delivering seamless and secure network performance through both wired and wireless access.

The network design is aligned with XUB’s drive to be a fully digital institution with leading edge services such as Xavier Videobook, which enables students to source relevant and contextual video content to make learning more immersive, and Xavier My Room, a platform for hosting virtual classrooms and peer-to-peer interaction using highquality video and audio conferencing.

The Juniper Networks solution integrates switching, routing, security and wireless networking in a holistic manner to simplify network administration and minimise operational overheads.

How technological transformations and innovative learning tools can change the education landscape in India in the coming decade?

We, at Juniper Networks, strongly believe ‘Digital Learning’ is the future of India’s education sector. Mass adoption of digital learning will not only address the accessibility and quality education concerns that the country is fighting with, but also empower billions of children and youth in the India’s hinterlands. It will bring them to the mainstream and the educational inequalities between an urban child and the rural child will become a story of the past.

As the country gears up to transform itself as a digitally empowered knowledge society through the government’s dream project – ‘Digital India’ initiative, digital learning will soon become a reality all across the country.

Successful digital learning initiatives require high-performance, robust, and secure network infrastructures with highdensity Wi-Fi support. Schools, campuses, other educational institutes and data center networks must be ready to support mission-critical digital learning, online courses, and online assessments.

With increased technology adoption in India’s education sector, the country will witness a ‘learning revolution’ in the coming decades. For a country like India which has world’s largest youth population, empowering its youth is a key priority and providing ‘quality education to all’ will bring a massive change in its socio-cultural-economic landscape.

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