POCKET STUDIES: POCKETED BENEFITS
By Chinmay Rautmare
The concept of modern education was introduced in India way back in the British Raj, a system that follows a strict pattern and was designed to produce a workforce from clerks to civil servants. But a lot of water has passed under this bridge, we are celebrating 75 years of independence, yet our education system is yet to evolve into something that reflects the aspirations of modern India.
Majority of population in the country resides in rural area. The Infrastructure and basic amenities provided would literally make a mockery of “sorry state”. Government as well as the people are equally responsible. We don’t have proper channelization of resources. Our forefathers reiterated the need of empowering villages but still cities are getting over-crowded and problems that comes along with it. Genesis of all these problems is nothing but the lack of quality education.
As years passed by, significant efforts have been taken to enhance the reach and quality of education. Technology is one of the main factors which have been incorporated in a mammoth task of this outreach. Institutions like ISRO have made special provisions to extend and broadcast government lead educational program. In spite of taking these efforts, we still lag innovative measures to cover the populace from rural areas. The main rationale behind using technology is to make education affordable and easily available.
A new trend of “study apps” has been on the horizon to lure the biggest potential market i.e. India. From kinder garden to graduation, for every step, one can find a mobile application. Even the schools have started adapting such new methods to monitor the progress of their students. Adhering to curriculum when these apps are developed or the chapters handled; various means are used to visualize or made students to understand the concepts. Many companies claim that innovative ways of teaching and answering the “WHY”s of every question or the concept is their main motive. Finding different ways to look at a problem and to tackle it appropriately also seems to be one of the main factors on their agenda. These methods will definitely prove to be useful for students; to be creative and innovative. Having said that, there are also efforts taken to integrate class room teaching programs and application based studies.
Technology is need of an hour and to progress further, it is essential that we adapt it fast and make it available in abundance. However, there are certain questions needed to be answered first. Are we in a position to support the infrastructure required for emerging technology? Can we make it available for everybody? Can we make sure that a student from a village sitting on a staircase with a smart-phone in his hands smile and taste fruits such technology? Technological penetration through all the geographies is a main challenge towards such companies. So is it just being a superficial attempt or has it just penetrated the fortunate/rich/ class of the society?
Traditional ways of teaching in a classroom environment has always proven to be healthy for the growth of students. We need to remember that, same educational system has given us stalwarts from various fields. Today, in almost every field, one can find Indian presence at the top. All that requires is a good teacher and a mentor. Even now, schools in rural India face the problem of hiring qualified teachers, instead relaying on a few individuals to take classes from nursery to high school. Obviously, we are facing shortage of good quality teachers – One of the highly neglected professions in the country. I think we tend to forget the fact that teachers build the foundation on which country’s next generation stands on and if we don’t have that force in hand, we might just lead the next generation into the dark and unimaginable chaos.