Higher Education and Technology

While speaking in the ‘Session on Human Resources: The Future of Education’ in ‘India Today Conclave 2010’, Kapil Sibal had a technical solution to get over the problem of the shortage of teachers in rural schools. According to Mr. Sibal, ‘the broadband facility will happen in the next three years and the last mile connectivity through wireless too that can ensure lots of education programmes to reach children, even without teachers, if the need arises.’

Cisco’s chairman John Chambers also propounded the idea. Chambers conceived that a virtual learning revolution could take education to every Indian for a dollar a month. Chambers cautioned, “Don’t model the education system on the past, model for where it is going.”

Is it only a wishful thinking?

Some private company such as Educomp Solutions instead of setting up of the profitable business of coaching institutes for facilitating the entrance in IITs and IIMs must get into the business of providing the teaching material with help of IITs for all the private engineering colleges of the country that really lack good teachers.

I wish Kapil Sibal encourages and ensures the use of technologies first and almost immediately in all ready running private professional colleges that can be possible with a little thrust from the government.

Unfortunately, Kapil Sibal wants to do many things and bring about the transformation of the education system and sector of India. Mr. Sibal must focus on some and get them executed. And the use of technology in thousands of private engineering colleges is that one requires Mr. Sibal’s personal attention.

As reported, IITs have already readied the courses of many branches of engineering videoed that can be used for simultaneous teaching in many locations. Why IITs can’t be given the responsibility of the distance teaching in thousands of private engineering colleges of the country. It will bring certain amount of equity in accessibility of knowledge of engineering subjects.

Will Sibal be able to concentrate on the execution of this aspect of improving the quality standard of teaching from the private engineering colleges?

According to Mr. Sibal, India will need at least 800 more universities and another 35,000 colleges in the next ten years to increase the percentage of students going for higher education from the present 12.4% in the country to 30%. Will it not be prudent to work on improving the quality of the education on priority that can be done through technology for the India’s 480 universities and about 22,000 colleges today? Many entrepreneurs have already started taking steps. for example, iProf is one, which is a 7 inch touch screen tablet, that comes bundled with content from premier education institutes and has been launched at a price of INR.14900/- . And the application of technologies in education sector will expand fast in coming years.

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