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Technology Has Brought Turning Point In Indian Education System, Will Narrow Equity Gap: CBSE Officials

School principals shared their transition to online learning which was accelerated by the pandemic when a nationwide lockdown was announced to contain the spread of coronavirus and ultimately led to prolonged school closures.

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Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is for everyone to see how technology is playing and driving the systems and processes of education. 

The future of education lies in addressing the challenge to equity and access, with technology bringing a turning point in the Indian education system, according to CBSE officials.

"The future of education lies in addressing the challenge to equity and access. Technology forums or emerging areas of technology have brought about a turning point in the Indian education system. Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is for everyone to see how technology is playing and driving the systems and processes of education. 

"It is also necessary to place the impetus on the process of curriculum development as we adopt and adapt as per the requirements of the industry," Biswajit Saha, Director-Skills and Training, CBSE said. 

"To build a tech-savvy education hub in India, the private and the public sector need to come together and drive the technologically enhanced curriculum under the ambit of the 21st century skills. A technologically enhanced learning ecosystem is needed to move to an outcome-based approach to gauge where and how education is truly being delivered to solve gaps in equity," he added. 

Saha made the comments during a roundtable on the transformational shift in the education sector brought by the pandemic and evolution of the education ecosystem.

According to Navtez Bal, Executive Director, Microsoft India, the World Economic Forum estimates that more than 1.2 billion children in 186 countries got affected by school closures due to the pandemic. 

"Technology played a pivotal role in maintaining learning continuity at this time and is enabling schools, teachers and students around the world to do more than ever before. At Microsoft, our aim is to create immersive and inclusive experiences that inspire lifelong learning, stimulate the development of essential life skills, and support educators in guiding and nurturing student passions," he said. 

Microsoft has been working on the digital transformation of the education ecosystem in India, working closely with policymakers, schools, teachers and students to transform learning outcomes with technology. Recently, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) collaborated with Microsoft to introduce coding and data sciences in school curriculum.

School principals shared their transition to online learning which was accelerated by the pandemic when a nationwide lockdown was announced to contain the spread of coronavirus and ultimately led to prolonged school closures.

Bhupinder Gogia, principal, Sat Paul Mittal School said, "To make learning engaging during the pandemic, we leveraged technological tools for virtual classes and to collaborate. The pandemic taught us to be open towards the idea of accepting answers from students on platforms, including both online and offline. We realised not every child is confident about voicing their opinions in an offline class." 

Paramjeet Kaur Dhillon, founder principal, Kamla Nehru Public School said her school had started preparing as early as December 2019. 

"Our teachers were already empowered and we prepared our lessons using OneNote, and Sway and Adobe. We used all possible tech tools and we were up and about by April 2020 to manage the move to a virtual classroom. I strongly believe that empowered educators lead to engaged classrooms. 

"We have efficiently leveraged technology as the hub of learning, enabling accessibility in education, implementing gamification and I am proud to say that we have AI learning in addition to design thinking, web designing, multimedia, etc for our students," she said. 

(With PTI inputs)

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