Question of Quality Education for the next 5 years amidst the Pandemic Crisis.
There wouldn’t be anything new if it’s said that the quality of education amid the pandemic crisis has been put into question. The next 5 years are going to be truly unpredictable.
The Indian Education system after the NEP 2020 was all set to dive into implementing the long list of amendments made to improve the overall quality of education. However, as was feared by Smriti Irani (ex-HRD Minister) and other dignitaries back then, the implementation of NEP 2020 is a major concern given that the nation still awaits the situation to get better.
Today, the entire education system stands on three major pillars:
- The Education
Marking the highest level of excellence is all about achieving perfection in implementing all three aspects. In 2021 and the days to come, this very foundation of education for students at various levels remains hazed and unclear.
So, What is the Situation Now?
In 2020 after the announcement of the modified National Education Policy 2020, every school and college hissed and hustled through the pandemic crisis through the year. Improving day by day, 2021 started with great energy and motivation to get everything back to track only to hit another bump on the way. The education governance system and the implementation of new policies were again paralyzed with the uprising of a new Covid-19 variant. The situation worsened resulting in delaying exams, admissions, and even imparting education.
Now major exams and admissions are cemented until a proper decision is made from the center. Although many schools and universities have moved on to eLearning modules, yet the quality of the education imparted through digital means is still under doubt. According to a report by Asisanage on Nov 13, 2020, 84% of the government schools across the nation are struggling with eLearning technologies. Now, even the conduct of CBSE class 12 exams remains subject to be canceled and decided in a holistic manner.
But, out of all these efforts where the quality of education that reaches finally stands to the student?
This is not just in India, the global education system has also suffered a lot since the outbreak of the pandemic. As reported by UNESCO, around 1.37 billion students in around 138 countries are impacted globally with around 60.2 million teachers and lecturers losing their jobs.
And talking about the mental health of the students, they are already stressed, worried, and anxious.
Then, How will be Education in 2021?
India in recent years has seen a more rapid rise in the higher education sector as compared to undergraduate admissions.
As estimated by ibef.org in one of the recent reports, there were already 9,700 AICTE affiliated institutes and education centers by 2020-2021.
Rapid Rise in New Education Avenues
The Indian Education System has seen some of the most trending evolutions in history. There was a heavy rise of new education avenues in various fields of Medical, Hospitality, Nursing, Pharma, and culinary management.
Recent times have also seen a steep rise in the students choosing to go for Medial Allied and Paramedical courses like BSc in Cardiac Care Technology, BSc in Optometry, BSc in Operation Theatre Technology, BSc in Unani Medicine & Surgery, etc.
Apart from these trending UG degrees to pursue, those who are on their way to complete their graduation can go for their Masters in Business Analytics, Data Science, Business Analysis, or MBA/PGDM specializations like marketing, operations, entrepreneurship, etc.
Yes, now you have a whole new range of career options to go for based on your skill sets. But with the introduction and popularity of all these specialized courses, students have got more perplexed today while choosing the right course, college, or city.
A better eLearning Infrastructure
The big appreciation goes to “Digital India” an initiative by the ruling government to promote the use of digital means and technologies across the nation. The initiative’s true value dipped into the education system at times of the pandemic crisis.
In October 2020, MR. Ramesh Pokhriyal, the Union Education Minister inaugurated Gyan Circle Ventures at Sri City, Andhra Pradesh to ensure the growth of innovation and infrastructure, supporting entrepreneurship expeditions at the IIIT.
Addressing the concerns put in front of the center on May 17, 2021, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal announced to release of Rs 5228 crore under the Samagra Shiksha program along with a promise to fund more Rs. 2,500 crore at the soonest for various educational initiatives taken by the states and the UTs.
Along with the Ministry of Education and Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) in India with support from the World Bank, invested Rs. 5,718 crore to implement a brilliant initiative; STARS or Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States project.
The STARS Project
STARS is an innovative vision sponsored by the center of India towards the Department of School Education and Literacy under the Ministry of Education. The project leverages the improvement of quality and governance of the school education system, currently, in six Indian states: Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra.
As estimated and presented in the report, the program is intended to benefit around 250 million students(in the age group of 6-17) across 1.5 million schools employing 10 million teachers.
The major component of the project is Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development or abbreviated as PARAKH. PARAKH, guided by NEP 2020, will be setting guidelines and monitoring the outcomes of learning across the nation.
Much to the relief, all the plans the center and state have towards improving the standards of education at this time of crisis look quite impactful. But what about the future?
So How does education look 5 years down the lane?
Well, the NEP 2020 definitely presents a vision for achieving a 50-60% Gross Enrollment Ratio. But understanding what will happen in the course of the next 5 years should matter for aspirants looking for admission in 2021.
Much to your relaxation, the projection on the quality of education that would be imparted to students of all standards looks quite impressive. The plan ahead proposes numerous scope for students across various levels and interests.
A rapid rise in skill-based programs
Among the most significant changes that we can notice in the new education system is the adoption of more skill-based courses or degrees. The quality of education in the coming years is indefinitely going to rise as millennials will have all the liberty to choose their field of education.
With a skills-based focus on education patterns, many professional courses like retailing, medical allied, fashion and jewelry designing, and few others have attracted a lot of students. Such courses tend to provide a wide range of job opportunities as well as entrepreneurial scopes.
The academics and co-curricular activities will be graded based on a holistic approach to the student’s performance throughout the year. As directed by the National Skill Development Corporations (NSDC), schools and colleges are supposed to foster more skill-based education that holds the interest of the student to standardize academic versatility. However, in the days to come, online education and more liberty to the students to choose their field of education can lead to heavy chaos. Yet,
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin
In the days to come, things will get streamlined in the central education system and infrastructure. But the overall quality of the education finally reaching the brain and heart of the student is what matters. And the high quality of education is definitely subjected to the teaching-learning module of the school or institute, as well as the aspirants’ desire to have an education.