5 Transformational Ideas for Indian Education:
1: MOOCs impacting School leavers
* MOOCs is the story of the ‘ugly duckling that became a swan’. Now that IITs have jumped on to this bandwagon, we may use it for improving the quality of our School education.
* The idea is to offer MOOCs appropriate for learners at class 11 and 12 of School in subjects such as Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, English, etc. Admissions to higher education Institutions with limited seats can then be made on the performance of learners on tests on these. This will truly create equality of opportunity and reduce if not eliminate the coaching industry.
* At the very least it will improve the quality of the entire higher education system, because learners would have experienced what the future higher education system would be like, with MOOCs from the best Universities of the world being accessible to all learners on their handheld devices.
2: India as the world’s hub for ‘ Educational Apps’
* India has perhaps the largest number of students for any country in the world. It also has a very large penetration and adoption of the mobile phone. The model of learning to ‘ reach the unreached’ is therefore of Apps on mobile devices.
* India has well established and firmly demonstrated competencies in IT development. It is therefore in a good position to use the potential of its domestic demand to underwrite a comprehensive mobile App development program that can then move to the world. Else or perhaps it is already planning Amazon will seize this space.
* Malawi, perhaps the 4th poorest country of the world that has 300 students per teacher has adopted Tablets and Apps for teaching Mathematics to its children. These Apps are now being considered for adoption in UK schools. A report is available at : BBC News – Malawi app teaches UK children a lesson
3: Developing the UberSmart Autonomous Self-Directed Learner
* The attributes and dispositions of our learners today have to change from passive learners being taught the ‘Queens English’ to co-explorers of learning and creators of learning. From extrinsically motivated to intrinsically motivated learners with skills for success in future.
* Worldwide thought leaders concerned with their future in a knowledge driven economy are pursuing this in widely varying contexts such as Finland, Singapore and South Korea.
* We have made an attempt to create an awareness and sensitisation program that is available for free at : http://www.mmpant.net/usasdl
4: Promoting Independent Educators
* The Prime Minister on teacher’s day said that a teacher never retires. Just as a lawyer, doctor, engineer, architect, chartered accountant can work for a state government, the central government, a large corporation, a small business or independently on his own, similarly qualified educators could work on their own.
* A teaching profession, with International standards would allow independent practitioners to move about under mode 4 of the GATS as well as practice their profession at home without the need for Institutional intermediaries.
* We can create a ‘ 21st Century Gurukul for 21st Century Gurus’ program where using MOOCs and flipped teaching, we can over 6 months (21 weeks) equip passionate educators in modern ICT tools for synchronous and asynchronous interactions across the globe, making the ‘ Digital Jagadgurus’
5: New Thinking for the new millennium:
* We have already entered the 2nd decade of the 21st Century. We had been talking about the coming 21st century, that we have not noticed that half of its second decade is upon us.
* We have to inculcate in our youth the abilities of learning to learn, traditional analytical and critical thinking, creative and innovative thinking, design thinking, strategic thinking, computer coding and computational thinking
* Learning is not a spectator sport and must include activities that encourage tinkering with single board computers such as Raspberry Pi, making things with 3D printers, playing with robots and drones with goal oriented projects such as ‘ swachch Bharat’. We should make all efforts to bring in events like the World Robot Olympiad to India. This can be done earliest by 2016, because for 2014 it is in Russia and in 2015 it is at Qatar.