The Union cabinet announced sweeping changes in the national education policy, a move that should go a long way in aligning education to the requirements of the times. While the pandemic induced lockdown has sped up the process of bringing in technology into education, the policy goes far beyond simply providing an alternate platform to the chalk and talk system in prevalence.
The NEP, 2020 emphasized the usage of technology in education. E-courses will be developed in regional languages and virtual labs will be developed and a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) is being created. E-content will be developed in many regional languages other than English and Hindi in NEP, 2020. The ministry will use the technology in education planning, teaching learning and most essentially in assessment.
Elets Technomedia and digitalLEARNING Magazine organized “School Tech Summit, 2020” to highlight the use of technology in school education. The panelist discussed the usage of technology in school education and implementation of National Education Policy.
Dr Ravi Gupta, Editor-in-chief, digitalLEARNING Magazine and CEO, Elets Technomedia Pvt Ltd welcomed all the panelists for the discussion in the inaugural session.
Om Pathak, Founder & Chairman, DPSG Society & Selaqui International School, Dehradun said “All the teachers are putting their best to provide quality content to students in this pandemic. From last four, it’s been a very hard for teachers.”
Over the NEP, he said “I welcome the New Education Policy, which the govt brought after 34 years. The new policy will address many things which were pending from last three decades. With NEP, the focus is shifted to competency of child. The stress of students will be reduced with NEP.”
“There will be a new test for teachers to qualify for teaching. The implementation will be very tough for the govt. It will be a herculean task. It’s very unfortunate the govt and private being discussed across the country. The private schools have done better than govt ones”, he said.
Phatak said “Private and govt schools must collaborate for the good of education. Education must be service not public service. Teacher is irreplaceable and cannot be substituted by the technology. Technology can enhance the education sector. Teachers need motivation in this crisis and they can do wonders. The COVID fast tracked the usage of technology in education sector. There will be challenges as internet and devices for students. We must find new ways tackle the crisis. The AI is coming in a big way.”
Lastly, he said “Private schools must be addressed to grow but should be watched. We should leverage the private schools to grow. Education is the single empowerment tool which can change the face of the country. We need to work on it to become the Global Guru. We need to work the students in rural areas.”
Dr MVV Prasada Rao, Director, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) said “There was no other substitute other than technology in the COVID world. The COVID has thrown a great challenge. It was growing very slow during initial stages but now it’s compulsory for schools. Now Technology is inseparable from education sector. Without technology what would have happened to education sector in this crisis. We need to address certain things- internet speed and accessibility, gadgets. Now technology is the only option.”
Over the National Education Policy, he said “I am very happy the govt has come up with the NEP in right time. It will enhance the education sector in the country.”
He said “The CBSE is training the teachers immensely from last any years. The ATL Labs are doing commendable jobs. We have developed DIKSHA for students. We have e-Pathshala which has audio and videos content for students. We are upgrading and up skilling the teachers.”
The development of new professional skills within teachers and listening skills for students much needed. The curriculum can be related to life skill values which can provide much needed for our students, he added.
Divya Lal, Founder & Managing Director, Fliplearn said “We have 3.7 million users and over 2000 schools. We are growing immensely. We must focus on moderation and choose how much enough for students is. Virtual class rooms at are their best when it will have interaction.”
She also said “I am very happy for the NEP. The new revision has come from 34 years; it’s a very good welcome.”
Sharang Arvind, Associate Director – Sales and Customer Success, Prodigy Game said “We are a global revolution in a game-based learning. We are a 7-year old firm and now we have 8 cr students learning from platform and we have 8000 lakhs with us. A child learns during the game. We nurture the child during the game.”
In the second panel, it was discussed over “Future Ready Schools: Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning & Connecting.”
Dr Madhav Deo Saraswat, Principal, The Scindia School, Gwalior said “We have to adopt and adapt technology due the COVID-19. Technology is a tool used for assisting in learning. The investment must be happen in people. Technology will help us in transformation of knowledge. Teachers cannot be replaced in schools. Human touch is must in education as the machines can only assist.”
He also said “The purpose of education is not going to change. Future schools must address many things and technology will be the main stake in coming days.”
Over new National Education Policy, he said “The NEP is very futuristic. The new changes will bring new revolution. But there are huge challenges to implement the NEP. “
Payal Rajpal, Founder, Hack the Crisis India, South Asia Head Robotex said “We believe in blended learning. The NEP advocates the usage of technology in education sector. We use AI in our classes to enhance learning. We use technology in proctoring as it can change the ace of education.”
She also said “From last three years we are using many new technologies in our workshops to enhance the education sector. We are trying to develop students from rural areas. We are eyeing to empower teachers with new tools. The COVID has taught us how to change our education system. We need to focus on human interaction.”
Dr Shalini Advani, School Director, Pathways Schools, Noida said “There are certain fundamental of education and it should revolve round people. Our education sector has never delivered on people- centric. The COVID-19 has forced to change. The change is embedded in our world.”
Dr Advani said “Leadership is very important to implement the change. As leaders we must ask right questions. Teachers are forced to change; they must develop value -based education. We need to add value-based subjects to our curriculum. Parents are now a part of classes.”
She also said “Schools must also incorporate parents to make our system robust. Technology is individualization learning. This has created way to collaborate with each other. The AR can help students to understand many complex subjects. The NEP has brought many new things to the sector. The whole framework needs to be relooked. The teachers have done a commendable job in the time of crisis. “
Dr Kamal Sethia, Chairman, Vardhman Group said “We are not future ready. When the COVID started we were struggling. We were not fully equipped to handle the crisis. The technology has given a chance to evolve the education. Parents and society are expecting new things. The e-learning has came has saver for schools. We took inputs from many stakeholders over the online education. Parents are worried over the usage of technology. “
He also said “Parents were worried over the usage of devices in education. We need to reach the rural areas and provide them the benefits of e-learning. We need to surge our reach to every part of the country. Technology is here to stay post COVID-19 crisis. Schools have major roles- education, culture, discipline. The environment of schools can never be replaced. Students need that freedom to play and express themselves. The govt must prepare solar powered labs for rural areas. The govt must provide new facilities to the schools.”
Dr Skand Bali, Principal, The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet said “Technology is here to stay and it cannot replace the human part. Technology can only assist but cannot replace teachers. Technology can be way out for us in time of crisis. There are many schools, which are providing critical thinking, skill based learning and many more. Technology was there but we were not using it. Schools don’t have to be future ready, students have to future ready. “
Over NEP, he said “A lot of people are giving back to the country. The NEP is very futuristic and people centric. The implementation of the NEP is a challenge. The delivery and implementation of curriculum is very important. The NEP looks very promising. The world of education has become closer and time to change the dynamics of it.”
Dr Kavita Aggarwal, Chairperson, MISA said “Need is the mother of invention. Everyone has changed their parental role. It was unprecedented time for teachers to change their ways. The teachers have evolved in a better way to tackle the crisis. Learning something new is very difficult or many teachers but they have adopted it. The change is very drastic and adaptability of technology was eminent. “
She also said “Technology is not everything. The future is blended learning and we don’t know when will be the schools will be reopened.”
Over NEP, he said “The NEP has many new things for the sector. The govt has taken strong initiative with brain drain. The cream of the society moves out of the country. The skill based education is the most commendable move.”
Vibha Mahajan, Vice President-Strategic Growth & Alliances, Ken42 said “We have available all the courses on our platform. The platform also manages fees for some schools. The data security is most important for us. We provide application, academic and student managements.”
Over the NEP, he said “It’s a very futuristic policy. It advocates skill development and value based learning. It will change the face of education.”
Bhaskar Majumdar, VP Digital, Lamhas Satellite Services Ltd said “We are 15-year old firm. We are a complete Made in India product. The COVID has accelerated the usage of technology. Vu2Learn is a modular, light and easy to use platform. We have LMS system, Live classes, exam modules. It can be deployed on cloud.”
Surbhi Goel, CEO, Aditya Birla Education Trust Schools, Mumbai said “Life skill is how we can quickly adapt the changes. This is the need of the hour for many schools. Technology is here to stay. We must develop mental health and wellness within our students. Life Skill cannot be taught in classes. “
Over the NEP, he said “The NEP is a long awaited and has come up right time. There are very good addition to the sector. The reduction of content is very good. Coding being added as subject is very good. Teacher training is highlighted in NEP. We have to look how it can be incorporated.”
Preeti Kwatra, Founder Director, Petasl Group of Schools, Delhi said “The like skills are very important for students. This is a time which no one has ever imagined. Every teacher is doing its best to provide education to students. The role of teacher has been multiplied a number of times. The responsibility of teachers have surged a lot. We are providing proper training to teachers to take care of children. We are trying to provide engagement activities to students.”
She also said “The screen time has increased a lot for children. We are educating students and parents over the pros and cons of screen timing. We are teaching students about cyber security. Parents must guide children what and when to watch during the classes.”
Over the NEP, she said “The reform is happening after many years. The NEP is focused on creative and experiential learning. The new NEP will enhance the growth of students from day 1. Now students can take two subjects. Language is not a barrier but it can be medium of transform of knowledge.”
Nikhil Wagh, Chairman, Educon International School, Pune said “The impact of COVID is changing in every passing day. New things are coming up for schools. Life skills is a very important thing which provide base to students. We must provide engaging class activities. We can teach life skills to students through many platforms. The very essence of education is usage of mind.”
Wagh said “Many schools are using online to teach. The connection with students is very important during the online classes. The core set of life skills have developed among the students in this pandemic. It can also learn subconsciously. The teacher must connect with the children. Failure is the first to success. Students must cope with failures if they want to succeed.”
He also said “Digital literacy is very important for parents and children. We must prepare our students to tackle any such crisis. The NEP has brought many new things. Teaching vocational skills from schools is out of box. It looks very great but there are challenges also.”
Astha Kataria, Managing Trustee, Ashoka Group of Schools, Nashik said “The way people have adapted the change is life skills. A lot of innovations came during the COVID. This is a blessing in disguise for many. This crisis will teach us a lot. This has open up the minds of teachers, students and parents. This is very essential in VUCA world. Entrepreneurship cannot be taught through a subject. It can be only done through conducive environment.”
Over the NEP, he said “The NEP is very futuristic approach. The success of this policy lies in the implementation. It requires a lot of phase wise training. It was long awaited and things can change a lot in coming days.”
Harsh Madhok, Director, Sunbeam Group of Institutions said “Teachers have to evolve rapidly. The COVID has moved the learning from traditional. We must not waste the crisis. This can create new dimensions for education. We must keep a tap on digital data and survival skills are most important in this crisis. We have encouraged many private networks in last few days. There is a lot of new security concerns have popped up. The cyber security is the main issue.”
He also said “The NEP has come after 34 years. Things are in pipeline and 6 pc of GDP to be given to education. They have spoken to reduce the content. Changing the English main languages is not a good idea and the NEP is a very good progress.”
Dr Sandeep Khanna, Principal, MIT- Vishwashanti Gurukul School, Pune said “We are very well-equipped schools and we started online classes on 2nd of April. We have three weeks time to provide proper training to teachers. Initially, there were challenges but out IT team resolved it. Most of our students’ are taking online classes. We started the virtual classes with assembly sessions and provided them breaks during the classes. We even celebrate the festival virtually.”
“We started yoga sessions, dance classes, music sessions and many other activities virtually. These sessions can break the monotonous of students. We started taking feedbacks from parents. We have divided our fees structure into six parts. We provide discounts to parents” he said.
“We did sessions for parents on Sunday morning and many participated in these sessions. We provide reliefs to parents. Technically, parents have entered the classroom and teachers have to be very careful during their classes, he said.
Amey Parulekar, Head – Business Development, Financepeer said “It’s been challenging times for all of us. The schools must invest on time and train teachers. Technology is here to stay and it can reduce our costs. It is very difficult for teachers to check on camera what a student is doing.”
He also said “We have integrated everything to our platform. From assessment to attendance everything is very clear in our platform. With the help of technology we can look into new things in education.” There are plenty of programmes available now and we must choose what to keep and what not. Security is very important for schools. We are dealing with the best in the industry, he said.
Anjana Deva, CEO, Mount Litera Zee School, Varanasi said “The COVID was like Tsunami for all of us. The onus of teaching felt on the solders on teachers. The pandemic has created new ways of teaching. The teachers did a commendable job during the crisis. We started our session from 2nd April with online classes. The pre-primary block was a huge challenge. There was lot of anxiety within parents and teachers.”
Anjana said “The teachers and parents didn’t lose patience. The hybrid learning will be the new norm for schools. The management of every school must be applauded for making this possible. Learning is not bounded by physical boundaries.”
The hybrid learning is here to stay. Schools have to be tech savvy for coming days. The parents must be also tech savvy. The mind-set is very important, she said.
Pratibha Mishra, Principal, Panbai International School, Mumbai said “The budget is our priority as school leaders. We need to come together to tackle the crisis. There is solution for every challenge. We were prepared to provide any kind of assistance to students in this crisis. We convinced parents before starting online classes. Training was given to teachers as things started to change drastically.”
She also said “We have to change the mind-set of teachers towards online education. We need to understand the emotional connect between the parents, teachers and students. School has helped parents through councelling.”
We have cut down unwanted expenses. We started many things online from yoga to martial arts to dance virtually. We have given the privilege of payment monthly wise to parents. We are not compelling any parents to clear the dues, she added.
Ramanjit Ghuman, Principal, Oakridge International School, Mohali, Mumbai said “We are living in challenging times. We focused on continuous learning. We opened up our resources for students and shared our own devices to students. The focus was on learning. The biggest assets are our teachers.”
He also said “It was an immense learning experience. We must provide quality and interrupted learning to students.”
Sami Ulla, CEO, Manipal International Schools, Anantapur said “Quality is education is misunderstood. We must be clear what we are delivering in schools. The basic structure of any school is to develop the core learning within students. We must understand what is need of the hour. We must get into the digital world and learning skills of students must not be hampered. We must not break the chain.”
Sami also said “We have to replace the classroom with the digital world. The change must start from teachers and they require proper training to teach in virtual world. Digital world has its own challenges and we went ahead to customize things. We were ready to accept the change. We have to re-work on our expenses and bring down our costs.”
Dr Lekha Visaria, Principal, Swami Vivekanand Vidyalaya, Mumbai said “We found there was lack of digital infra. We have to start from the scratch. Parents were reluctant to permit their child to it in front of devices for long time. Now, with time every parent has accepted the usage of technology in the pandemic. The process of adaptation is going on. “
He also said “The hunger to learn will grow in coming days. The dynamics will change as food, shelter, clothes and technology will be the the new norm.”
Dr Deep Khare, Principal, Jodhamal Public School, Jammu said “This COVID has given an opportunity to everyone. Teachers found how to use technology. We can make children as independent learners. This is a lifetime experience. Students must have the courage to face any issue. Children cannot start a new lesson of their own.”
He also said “We must let our children to do things of their own. Children must understand things not learn them. Children must have wisdom when they pass out of schools, which have never changed. We have to break the class to individuals. We cannot the assessment of a child. We are preparing children for past not for future. Nothing has changed in last 30 years. The children must be allowed to think and stop helping them. Allow them to self pace learners.”
Arpita Chakraborty, Principal, Eicher School, Faridabad said “The biggest challenge is to change the mind-set from traditional way of teaching to online classes. There are various other challenges emerged. We must focus on children specific and need based education. The role of teachers has changed a lot.”
She also said “This COVID has brought a huge change in the education sector. Our teachers not only accepted it but mastered it. It was an initial hiccup for teachers when they are seen by parents but not things have settled down well. Our willingness to accept and adapt the change is the main things. Technology was always there and will be there. We must take the call how to use the technology.”
Asha Alexander, Principal, GEMS The Kindergarten Starters, Dubai said “We started the online classes from last 9 years. We started online classes without any fuss when the pandemic started. It is not completely easy to handle. We are looking to go back to school in the month of September but it will be a huge challenge for us.”
“We opened the doors for parents to attend the physical classes. It was a very appreciated by parents and there is a huge learning for parents, teachers and students. The technology has compelled everyone to adapt the technology. It’s not about competitions but collaboration”, she said.
Preetee Kumar, Managing Director, Solan Public School, Solan said “We started training sessions for teachers. It was a huge challenge for teachers to shift from traditional teaching to virtual. We conducted sessions for parents. For older children, we provided them project-based learning, which can help them a lot.”
She also said “The technology is here to stay and hybrid learning will be the new norm in coming days. Everybody has joined hands to tackle the crisis. Collaborated learning started to boom in this crisis. It was a wonderful journey for all of us.”