Technology Should Be Used As Tool For Learning And Innovation: Professor Prem Vrat
Professor Prem Vrat, Chairman and Board of Governors, IIT (ISM), Dhanbad, attended Entrepreneur India's 'Education Congress and Awards 2024' programme as a jury member. During this, he expressed his views on ‘How to make our education system sustainable and futuristic’. Here are highlights from his speech.
Professor Prem Vrat said that our National Education Policy 2020 aims at making education holistic, flexible, modular, multi-disciplinary value based and quality centric, faculty-driven but student-centric. Building a sustainable and future-oriented education system requires us to re-evaluate and revolutionize the way we educate our future generations.
He said that it is important that we define what we mean by a sustainable and futuristic education system. Sustainability of the education system not only means environmental sustainability but also includes social and economic sustainability. Equipping learners with the knowledge, skills and values needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world is especially essential for pursuing a sustainable education system. Furthermore, it is also necessary to conserve and enhance essential resources for future generations.
Futuristic Education System
Similarly, a futuristic education system anticipates and adapts to future needs. It embraces emerging technologies, promotes critical thinking and innovation, and prepares students for jobs and industries that do not yet exist. It transcends traditional boundaries and helps encourage lifelong learning and adaptability.
We must also recognize the inter-connectedness of education with other social systems. Education cannot exist in isolation; it is deeply connected to our economy, our environment, our culture and our politics. Therefore, any effort to create a sustainable and futuristic education system must involve collaboration across disciplines and sectors.
Digital Literacy Is No Longer Optional
True education involves much more than just memorizing facts and figures. We must nurture creativity, empathy, resilience and other essential life skills that will enable students to navigate our increasingly complex world. Instead of just informing and evaluating the students, the role of teachers becomes to involve them in every field, always motivating them to do better and also changing their thinking or giving them the right direction.
Technology should be used as a powerful tool for learning and innovation. Digital literacy is no longer optional, it is a fundamental skill required in the 21st century. However, we must also be mindful of the digital divide and ensure that access to technology is equal for all students. It should also be clear that no technology can and should replace a talented, committed and inspiring teacher. Together, teachers and students create a great learning experience as co-learners.
Reevaluation Of Traditional Beliefs
We must re-evaluate traditional notions of the assessment and evaluation process and embrace alternative forms of assessment that allow students to demonstrate their understanding in different ways. Project Based Learning; solving real-life problems and integrating knowledge with skills and a positive attitude should be the overall goal of increasing employability. There should also be focus on employment and entrepreneurship.
We must develop a culture of lifelong learning. The pace of change in today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world is unprecedented, and the skills we acquire today may become obsolete tomorrow. Therefore, education should not end with formal schooling but should be a lifelong endeavour. Whatever lesson we have to learn, our focus should be on it. We must prioritize environmental sustainability in our educational practices. Conservation of resources through reduce, reuse and recycle should be an important mantra for any circular economy.
Investment In Education Should Be Increased
We should also empower and motivate students to become active agents of change. They are not merely passive recipients of knowledge but also active participants in shaping education and the world around them. We must also increase investment in education to attract great minds with positive thinking into the teaching profession.
Creating a sustainable and futuristic education system is not just a lofty ideal, but also an urgent need. The challenges we face as a global community require nothing less than a radical reimagining of the way we educate our future generations. By working together and embracing innovation and sustainability, we can build a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and contribute to a brighter future for all.