Rebooting The Indian Education System Amid Covid-19

Dr. Y P Kosta, Vice Chancellor, Marwadi UniversityDr. Y P Kosta is a space scientist and an educationist by profession. He has served as an expert member in AICTE, and in various over capacities in public and private universities, and as an examiner.

It is now socially and intellectually recognized that the Covid-19 phenomenon has surfaced as the wild card that has just begun to unprecedently reset societies and civilizations: to think, act, and behave like never before. Many victims have gotten guzzled in this unwarranted sweep, education being one amongst the many, as it is now understood that we are moving towards a touchless society.

This being the new norm; then life and societies, businesses and organizations, tourism and entertainment, production of goods and services, administration and governance, and making of the next new economy shall all have to go touchless. Under the current circumstances, education would play a pivotal role, starting from school to college – as it shall have the key responsibility to instil a touchless-competitiveness through updated knowledge and skills. The way education is delivered, consumed, evaluated and applied will require to be reimagined rather than just merely rebooted.

The Education SOS
Immediately in the short term, the worst affected are students. Most teachers haven’t prepared their digital portfolio either. Therefore, most institutions aren’t really ready. However, most have jumped and boarded the online bandwagon.
The vibrant, shiny, and omnipotent Digital world has triggered the online education bomb, setting ablaze the education industry. The impact of the explosion, so profound and powerful, that every educational entity, offered online education to students, without caring much about the etiquettes and netiquettes of the digital space.

Education-Industry Symbiosis – as an Immediate way-out
Joint-learning (teachers and institutions) and association (online-digital companies) will be the key to offer quality education, and help reset the education system. Digital transformation experts have been volleying teachers and educational institutions with the progressive idea of offering education through the digital mode, and now, COVID-19 has accelerated the need for adoption of technological solutions.

Covid-19 therefore presents an opportunity, to reposition the industry and promote a hybrid learning model, maximising the delivery of
quality-education to students with mutual collaboration with the education institutions and digital technology providers.

A symbiotic relationship is envisaged between educational institutions and education-service industry in the larger benefit of the students community and other stakeholders. This duo will function borderlessly to weave-in best of digital technologies, digital-systems, digital-repository, digital services support and learning opportunities amongst the learner community that includes training teachers, students and other stakeholders, thereby helping to restore the faith and status-quo of educational institutions.

Education: Touchless & the Touched
The touchless attributes will have to do with routine - virtual skills competence, while the touched will deal with creativity, information and insight of dealing with physical skills competence. In both the cases, the educational aspects will see massive differences in terms of delivery, evaluation, and opportunities. For example, a student receiving all education in the online-mode will have virtual competence in terms of knowledge (design), Skills (production) and behaviours (markets). Such a competence will suffice for routine and the obvious (auto-life, auto-world, auto-economy). However, to incorporate creativity and futurism the student will not only need virtual competence but shall have to bring in physical competence as well (New-lifestyle, New-world order, New-economic ways). This new approach will require a physical presence and interactions, demos and practices, incorporating trans-disciplinary knowledge, new translation-skills, and building-new-behaviours.

This new approach will require a physical presence and interactions demos and practices incorporating trans disciplinary knowledge new translation and building newbehaviours

The Symbiosis of Passive & Active Learning
We shall limit our discussion to the present and the next-obvious context only. No matter what, both passive and active learning models are important. They play pivotal roles, keeping in view the differentiated nature of work, workspaces and skill expectations. The two models will combine in multiple ways to instil creative competencies and inculcate character amongst the participating students and learner communities at large. Touchless education is associated with: domain-knowledge, conceptualization, design, implementation, manufacturing, and marketing aspects learnt through via digital mediums which is also leading to more advanced virtual learning experiences. The two will combine and prepare a student or learner community with digital competency attributes – for employment and life. Therefore virtual competitiveness is what is expected out of online education systems.

The Swinging Pivot: Policy Agility & Open-Plan Bandwidth are the New Norms
The digital education revolution breaks the time and space barrier and freshly looks at the delivery and sustenance of knowledge, skills, and behaviours. The pivot of policy and planning will swing between two aspects, vis-à-vis; the routines (auto-world), and futurism (new-world). Routines will be sharply defined with little built-in flexibility, but the futuristic will be fluidic and agile to incorporate foresight and creativity – primarily attributed to the demand of industries and societies for future products and services – leading to the rise of futurism. Such phenomenal approaches breaks open the hard-shell of policy and exposing the limits and vision of planning. Therefore, the broad policy of education delivery and demand must be met intellectually, materially, ethically, economically, and financially by being resourceful. The way to benefit is to policy-in attributes that help embrace cooperation, collaboration, and collectively-conquest, which require agility in policy and flexibility and foresight towards operating bandwidth (wide and open) of planning needs. The education policy is broad and agile enough to fulfil the demand of the ever agile student and industry
Finally, the policy must incorporate and fulfil aspects about knowledge - the making of the mind; Translation skills - its purpose in the market; and Expected behaviours - being mindful in life.