Changing scenario of education in India

V K Jayaram

Chennai: Education Artificial Intelligence AI, Machine Learning ML and cloud computing have revolutionised the way education is processed and delivered, thus presenting to us a market with a plethora of educational products and services.

Speaking to News Today, management expert professor V K Jayaram, says, “Are these all new to us? Conceptually not at all, for even three decades ago we had auto-learning- CBTs – Computer Based Training, IVTs – Interactive Video Training. So, how different or new is it at present?”.

“Computing machines have now reduced to palm sized devices with higher speeds, thanks to the amazing nano technology, he says and adds, ‘telecommunications and computing have merged into a new eco-system providing personal digital assistants like the cell phone.”

He states, “Wireless revolution with technological upsurges have reduced or nullified the use of cables and changed the security limits, the Internet has brought in a seamless connectivity across the globe for sharing knowledge resources”.

VKJ says, “More jobs and more productivity demand innovative skills, as the replicable human skill sets are being taken over by cybernetic systems”.

Asked what will be the future of education, the professor says, “To answer this we need to zero down on practical conditions in India and abroad. IOT ( Internet Of Things) enthusiasts due to the current lockdown scenarios have no doubt encouraged the entire country to take the online route towards education,” he adds.

Is this a complementary force or is it game changing replacement force? VKJ says, “After three months of turmoil and fears, mankind has woken up to a new reality. Given the facts that we are living with different versions of influenza virus over centuries, and as such it is not the virus that kills but the co-morbid conditions of a patient that really do. We certainly are re-learning on how to manage education in the best possible ways”.

“Hypothetically speaking, E-Learning and few online service providers – OSPs would have even wished for the social distancing and pandemic to stay on forever, in order to give a full swing to online learning as the new age of order. Although this idea sounds far fetched, but it almost came to a reality when parents started to demand a fee reduction as classes were held online! I would comment if such wishes were horses then beggars would be riders. Actually, this was never the case during any pandemic attack as the danger of spread is always fomitive unlike a fatal gas plant leak. Man is a social animal and wants his freedom to move around no matter how attractive or safe his room or interface may be”.

“Computing was once feared to take away jobs, instead it only increased productivity to provide millions of more jobs. Real-time production and real-time performance cannot be replaced by machines. Traditional or conventional teaching has its advantages in skill building and transferring confidence. This human advantage cannot be replicated or replaced by machine interfaces.”

“In India, all students cannot own a smart phone or a laptop”, he says. Also let us look at today’s most advanced educational system in the world viz. Finland, they are only doing away with exams but not the conventional modern classroom with a smart screen or board. To conclude, online e-learning portals and applications are only complementary tools to the prevailing educational system, he concludes.