All those who are following the government’s vision for the younger generation know that the budget has taken huge steps to alleviate the obstacles created by the Covid epidemic and related problems. The focus has shifted strongly to digital education, digital universities and digital infrastructure. Emphasis has been placed on technology adoption and digitization and a large allocation has been made to make this dream a reality.
The finance minister has allocated Rs 63,449 crore for school education and literacy. The higher education department has been allocated Rs 40,828 crore for the next financial year, an increase of 6.6 per cent over the current financial year. Such improvements show the potential growth in the education sector and how the government is paving the way for further development.
This is good news for a sector that is still suffering after the Covid-19 melee, even as others are slowly getting back on their feet. The budget is bridging the gap between available e-learning initiatives and the unavailability of digital devices to certain sections of society. As a young, entrepreneurial minded country, if we are to stand tall in the digital economy of the future, we should give such encouragement to the new generation.
The epidemic reshaped the education situation when schools and universities were forced to adopt virtual learning platforms to conduct regular classes. Thanks to the availability of technology, the education sector can address the drastic changes needed to maintain the continuity of education and secure the future of our youth. Digital learning brings a lot of comfort and convenience to parents who have seen the value of options like recorded lessons, connected and personalized learning and increased engagement.
Now the situation is getting easier, and things are getting back to normal, but the world is realizing that e-learning has created opportunities that will equip students to work efficiently in the digital age.
Technology can be used effectively to bring new techniques and methods in education.
The wise course of action for a better future is to ensure that we are protected from future epidemic-like situations that could threaten Applecart. And the best answer is blended learning – a combination of physical and virtual classrooms – that is fast emerging as a choice.
A medium of instruction for students, parents and teachers.
According to the Digital Learning Pulse survey published by Bay View Analytics, most students want to have some amount of online study options, which confirms the need for hybrid solutions. In fact, a recent study by the U.S. Department of Education on online learning found that “instruction in a combination of online and face-to-face elements had a greater advantage over fully-directed instruction than online instruction.”
Similar results are true in India. According to a survey published by HP India earlier this year, 68 percent of students prefer to pursue hybrid education, with 85 percent of teachers and 89 percent of parents favoring the survey. Similarly, where 91 percent of students say that the combination of online and classroom learning helps in better understanding, 90 percent of teachers are of the opinion that hybrid education can reduce learning disruption.
Mixed learning with interactive classrooms, innovative technology adaptations and new approaches to teaching methods are resonating with young people. That is why the steps taken by the Modi government in this case are timely and correct.
The government’s National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and skills-building initiatives have already given a country hope that India is on track to prepare its youth for a better future. The Union Budget 2022 takes further steps to emphasize inclusive education and provides for the adoption of a progressive and inclusive approach to primary, secondary and higher education.
Announcements such as the eVidhya scheme and ‘On Class One TV Channel’ expand the horizons of students’ learning and bring inclusion in promoting regional languages equally. Improving the quality of e-content, focusing on teacher training, digitizing instructional mediums, and technological integration will increase motivation for learning. Focus on re-skilling and upskilling at the higher education level, and the launch of the digital DESH e-portal will increase vocational education and job readiness, making students independent and result-oriented.
With the new initiative, we can be sure that:
- Students in remote areas will be given better access to education and this will make a good impact and contribute to increasing literacy in the country.
- Lack of infrastructure and technical skills will not be an obstacle. Teachers, if trained and skilled, will be able to impart knowledge to many.
- An efficient and effective hybrid learning model will enhance teacher-student communication through attractive and customized coaching modules.
- Subsequent budget implementation initiatives will, in the long run, help students from all backgrounds to conveniently adapt to the future of work.
Making curriculum, pedagogy, and education more flexible and inclusive will improve the quality of education in India. At a distinct level, schools and universities are working to make mixed education more accessible by introducing a new curriculum and customizing the education system.
So when world-renowned educator and curriculum mapper Heidi Hayes Jacobs says “technology can bring the real world into the classroom”, he’s talking about how we can prepare children for exciting learning opportunities. The central budget has put its finger on the pulse of a nation longing for drastic change that will secure the future of our children. This will take us on the right path, and now we must take to the streets to emerge victorious.