To meet the surging demand for a workforce with up-to-date skills and competencies aligned with globally competitive industries and education systems in India have to embrace information and communication technology. The COVID crisis has compelled the usage of ICT in education.
ICT allows students to monitor and manage their own learning, think critically and creatively, solve simulated real-world problems, work collaboratively, engage in ethical decision-making, and adopt a global perspective towards issues and ideas. It also provides students from remote areas access to expert teachers and learning resources, and gives administrators and policy makers the data and expertise they need to work more efficiently.
However, access to ICT in the region’s schools is limited due to infrastructure constraints, a lack of investment and research into the uses of ICT in education, and a lack of capacity of teachers and school leaders to use ICT to enhance the quality of teaching and learning.
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Another challenge is equity, including financial, gender, and racial fairness in access to education. Efficiency and accountability also needs to be improved. This includes improving student–teacher ratios as well as retention and dropout rates. The education provided also needs to be relevant to socioeconomic conditions, such as matching skills taught to those valued by the global market.
ICT provides the opportunity to transform teaching, learning, and management practices in schools. The need for this transformation is urgent, given the increasingly globalized world in which students and teachers now live. Without it, as future graduates they could end up as part of a workforce that cannot keep up with the demands of the 21st century.
This edition of digitalLEARNING Magazine highlights the new age school and usage of ICT in education in the COVID-era.