The Education 4.0 India initiative seeks to improve learning and alleviate inequalities in India and around the world by leveraging Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. The advent of technology in education sector has also seen the gap in learning outcomes among Indian students. These losses have been accentuated for children from marginalized and vulnerable families, who confront a plethora of socioeconomic challenges. According to a World Economic Forum report titled “Shaping an Equitable, Inclusive, and Sustainable Recovery - Acting Now for a Better Future”, at least 24 million children, primarily girls, may never return to school. Urgent action is required to overcome these learning losses and to scale up solutions that will address these gaps and establish sustainable learning environments.
Digital learning can successfully solve these difficulties and ensure that no one falls behind in their educational journey. To this end, the World Economic Forum has launched the Education 4.0 India initiative in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and YuWaah (Generation Unlimited India). This report follows the progress and findings of the Education 4.0 India initiative, which intends to use Fourth Industrial Revolution technology to improve learning and minimize inequalities in educational access among children in India.
Education 4.0 India Initiative
The Education 4.0 India initiative, which was started in May 2020, has brought together more than 40 partners from the education technology, government, academic, and start-up communities. This report is the result of their deliberations and aims to develop a solid strategy that can be broadly implemented while being cost-effective and sustainable. The research identifies gaps and provides interventions under four themes: foundational literacy and numeracy, teacher professional development, school-to-work transition, and connecting the unconnected.
Highlights of Education 4.0 India Report
According to Education 4.0 India report, there are more than 60 million secondary and higher secondary students in India. Still, only 85% have included vocational courses in their school curriculum.
The major hurdle for the school-to-work transition process is a lack of teachers and trainers, inadequate infrastructure and resources, poor integration with the academic curriculum, and improper connection between localized skill needs and vocational courses.
This report complements the National Education Policy 2020 or NEP 2020 of India and the National Digital Education Architecture of 2021. There are numerous online education platforms like DIKSHA, ePathshala, SWAYAM, and Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
According to the NAS or National Achievement Survey of 2021, the average learning level in grade 3 was 59%, 49% in grade 5, 42% in grade 8, and 36% in grade 10.
Using digital technologies, the KINDLE or Knowledge and Information Network for Digital Learning and Education seeks to lessen or close the learning gaps and provide access to education for everyone.
In-Depth Analysis of Education 4.0 India Report
The Education 4.0 India program complements and leverages the efforts of the central and state governments. It provides a plan for improving India's school education ecosystem and offers a call to action to all stakeholders in the ed-tech field to collaborate to reform the sector.
Digital Learning in Education 4.0 India
India can build on the digital solutions that were tried and implemented during the epidemic to bring education to all and educate Indian students for success in the twenty-first century. India has made great progress in addressing some of the most pressing issues in education, including higher primary school enrollment, lower dropout rates, improved teaching quality, and increasing teacher numbers.
Digital Learning Landscape
The national government has developed various technology-enabled programs to promote digital literacy and the development of a knowledge-based society. Digital India, for example, aims to make government services available to residents electronically through improved online infrastructure, increased internet connectivity, more digital literacy, and greater adoption of digital technology.
Teachmint’s Role in Digital Learning
Teachmint offers a revolutionary integrated school platform with a load of features that help in digitizing day to day operations of schools and colleges. With performance management, teachers can easily track students' performance and design the course curriculum accordingly. This platform also makes collaboration between teachers and students possible with the help of its Online Whiteboard feature. Both of them can illustrate their observations on a single Whiteboard and can be shared across the classrooms. These features and the integrated school platform are aligned with the government’s initiative of Digital India.
The Opportunity - SDG 04
The fourth Sustainable Development Goal, which countries are attempting to accomplish under the guidance of the United Nations, strives to ensure equity, quality, and efficiency in education. This means providing children with equal learning opportunities throughout their lives, as well as up-to-date learning and skilling, so that they may transition seamlessly into the world of employment and engage fully in social and civic life.
The National Education Policy 2020 of India aspires to increase the delivery of excellent education to all learners, especially through digital means. The NEP 2020 is connected with the ideals of 21st-century education and stresses the development of each child's creative potential, from redesigning the educational structure to developing a comprehensive digital learning system.
Foundational Literacy and Numeracy
The Indian school education system must universalize foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN) skills within the next five years, according to the National Education Policy 2020. The system must overcome various obstacles to achieve this: Standardized performance assessments and competency frameworks are required, as are teacher training programs that offer practical classroom strategies.
According to the National Education Policy 2020, the Indian school education system must universalize fundamental literacy and numeracy (FLN) skills during the next five years. To accomplish this, the system must overcome several challenges: Standardized performance assessments and competency frameworks, as well as teacher training programs that provide practical classroom practices, are essential.
Early literacy and numeracy skills have an impact not only on basic learning but also on "better quality of life and personal well-being and are crucial for educational results in later years." The Ministry of Education's NIPUN Bharat program aims to improve students' reading, comprehension, and numeracy skills through the use of digital tools and the DIKSHA portal.
Case Study - Saarthi Education
By incorporating parents, Saarthi Education has devised and executed an effective approach to ensuring high-quality elementary education. Saarthi offers at-home counseling to moms who are more involved in the NGO's work to assist them to understand their children's learning levels and needs. A community-based relationship manager helps the mother and her kid develop self-confidence and self-sufficiency.
Data and technology are used to give learning tools that are tailored to each child's learning ability and context, with algorithms calibrating the difficulty level based on each child's performance data. There are 250 "micro-concept booklets" for mathematics and 1,400 "e-flybooks" with audio help for English in the vast courses.
Teachers’ Capacity Building
Teachers' professional development and training are critical for maximizing their engagement in the digital transformation of school education. According to the Ministry of Education's Department of School Education and Literacy, India has roughly 15.1 lakh (1.51 million) schools, 96.8 lakh (9.68 million) teachers, and 26.4 crores (264 million) students. According to NEP 2020 standards, every teacher is encouraged to participate in at least 50 hours of ongoing professional development activities per year, based on their interests. These activities must systematically cover the most recent pedagogies in foundational literacy and numeracy, formative and adaptive assessment of learning outcomes, competency-based learning, and related pedagogies such as experiential learning, arts-integrated, sports-integrated, and storytelling-based approaches, among others.
Collaboration programs that bring together businesses, schools, and governments help ensure that skills and vocational training are up to date with industry demands.
The school-to-work (S2W) transition is centered on an individual's ability to chart a sensible path for their interests and develop the skills required to deal with changing skill requirements, technology, and labor market conditions. Job responsibilities in 19 industries have been identified and related courses taught to children from grades 9 to 12 under India's Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan. It is a school-based vocational program spanning 55 courses connected with the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF).
Case Study - Certiport
Certiport manages several industry-recognized, entry-level certifications from prominent businesses. Millions of students in 148 countries and 26 worldwide languages benefit from its digital skilling program. This program offers numerous paths to assist learners bridge skill gaps and advancing their careers.
Solution - Students can acquire theoretical concepts online and practical concepts offline via blended learning.
Alignment with national priorities - The Indian government has introduced blended training methods for higher education, and the NEP 2020 encourages blended learning through offline internships and practical experience.
Connecting the Unconnected
Edtech solutions and content must be compatible with many devices and work in conditions such as limited connectivity and low bandwidth.
Almost 60% of schools lack functional computers, and 75% lack internet access. Administrators and educators around the country deployed various ed-tech solutions to ensure learning continuity amid school closures induced by the outbreak. To reach every student and link those who are not yet connected to the internet, the digital world, and related gadgets, an adequate strategy and action plan are required.
To offer either offline solutions or material that can play over low bandwidth, ed-tech solutions must take into account diverse conditions such as low connectivity and price. Content must also be compatible with a variety of devices, accessible through various touchpoints, and localized. Connecting schools, individuals, and communities to such solutions is critical for improving learning, eliminating access disparities, and closing the learning divide.
How Teachmint is Reducing Learning Divide?
Teachmint is the best integrated school platform as it aims to reduce the learning divide by reaching every nook and corner of the world. Teachmint has covered a vast geographical area in India ranging from Leh, a remote area in the North to Channaptna, a village in the South. Teachers can teach and provide education to students from any corner of the world. It is a very dynamic and versatile platform for schools and colleges because it is compatible with mobile phones as well.
Common Service Centers Scheme
The Common Service Centres (CSC) project is part of MeitY's Digital India Programme. Village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs) administer these centers, which provide a variety of government-to-citizen and business-to-citizen services. CSCs also have a strong emphasis on educational services. Every state has dedicated centers called CSC Academies that are equipped with infrastructure for e-learning and computer-aided courses.
Jharkhand's state government, through the Jharkhand Council of Educational Research (JCERT), has used CSC Academies placed in each rural block to raise awareness among students, teachers, and communities about free DIKSHA courses. Over 300 participants from 260 blocks of the state were trained at a master trainer workshop held at the state headquarters.
The KINDLE initiative is built on the modularity principle to allow for flexibility in building pilots and rollout strategies. The interventions can be developed in a modular fashion from the five building blocks, allowing the implementation to be adjusted to the target beneficiaries, varying sizes of geographies, and diverse teaching/learning environments.
KINDLE's architecture is comprised of two horizontal and three vertical layers. More verticals can be plugged into the same horizontals, making them modular.
The KINDLE fundamental layer is derived from the NDEAR core building pieces, which are relevant in digital activities across the education environment. For example, "federated identities" enable students and teachers to access information and learning opportunities at any time and from any location by enabling single sign-on (SSO).
The KINDLE building blocks layer allows for the creation of interventions that are tailored to the vastly variable educational environments seen in different states.
Education 4.0 India, as a socially relevant initiative, focuses on issues that the Indian national and state governments are currently addressing. From making education more accessible and inclusive to lowering dropout rates and enhancing learning outcomes through the use of more flexible learning technologies and community participation, the impact can be enormous.
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