There has been a welcome increase in the quantity of coverage around education in mainstream publications in recent years. Much of the coverage, however, is lacking in analytical depth and rigor. In the daily cacophony of school admissions and board exam results, the larger systemic issues and possible solutions for poor quality of learning in our schools are getting lost. More robust education reporting could provide invaluable support to the education reform movement in India.
To support this vision, Central Square Foundation, in partnership with the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), organised a media workshop on October 30, 2012, on the theme, “Is technology the silver-bullet for school education in India?” The objective was to sensitise journalists about the challenges and opportunities of using technology to improve student learning in India.
The keynote address was given by Prof. Govinda, Vice Chancellor of NUEPA. His opening remarks set the stage for an intense debate on the benefits and challenges of technology, which he claimed “has tremendous potential but has so far bypassed school education in India. India has more than 1.1 million schools and so technology will have to engage at a significant scale to make any meaningful impact”.
Prof. Govinda’s address was followed by 20 minute presentations by a panel of four speakers from leading EdTech organizations and a question and answer session journalists and audience members. The speakers were Ashish Dhawan from Central Square Foundation, Sridhar Rajagopalan from Educational Initiatives, Rothin Bhattacharya from HCL Infosystems and education entrepreneur Jayadev Gopalakrishnan. Ashish presented the overall EdTech market landscape map in India. Sridhar spoke about the potential of personalised learning in India while Rothin discussed the ICT market in India and how tablets will change the face of education in the coming ten years by making learning more affordable and accessible. Jayadev concluded the session by presenting on the new revolution around Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
The workshop was attended by over 50 participants, including 27 editors and journalists from 20 leading publications and TV channels, representatives of EdTech organizations and educators.