The capacity of the Indian education system to adopt new technology

By Priya Chetty on January 30, 2019

In the Indian education system, assessment lays impact on the scholastic aspects and nearly ignores the co-scholastic areas. The actual potential of the student is often neglected. With the advancement in technology, education delivery systems and assessment is driving quality student learning, progress and performance at higher and higher secondary levels (Brush, 1999). EdTech provides real-time data and assists teachers in responding to the needs of students and helping them to plan better classrooms and improve student performance and learning. Furthermore, the widespread application and implementation of technology-based assessment prove that it is effective and viable in the Indian education system (Gebre, Saroyan and Bracewell, 2012).

Role of technology in imparting quality education

The need for technology in education is important, thus there has been an increased focus in this regard (Chopra and Marriya, 2013). The Edtech was introduced so that the students, teachers and schools are able to give an early start to adopt new technology. Education being a concurrent subject, policies were laid down for State as well as the Central board.

The Government of India is promoting the use of technology in many ways. Ministry of HRD has introduced special schemes for promoting technology-based assessment. The government has introduced several programmes such as ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’ to spread technology-based assessment and education. Digital literacy needs to impart employability skills (Woods and Murphy, 2013). In order to extend support, the government as part of its policy has introduced e-Basta (school books in digital format), SWAYAM (MOOCs), and India Skills Online. The government provides computer-aided education in secondary and higher secondary schools, has set up smart schools and strives to provide teacher enrichment and development of e-content (Natarajan, 1998).

Furthermore not until recently it is observed that:

  1. projector screens and smart boards have replaced blackboards,
  2. classroom teaching is carried out by powerpoint presentations,
  3. homework and test schedules are sent and accessed online and,
  4. animated and gamified content

have been the various changes in primary and secondary school education (Page, 2002).

Though the efforts of using Edtech have continuously risen over the past few years, they are not the same across all schools. There is widespread social and digital divide in the public and private schools that need to be bridged. Most of the technological changes have come across in the metropolitan cities and is limited to affluent private schools. These advancements are hardly visible in government schools and none in the majority of the schools of tier II and tier III cities.

Capacity to adopt new technology in the Indian education system

Today’s generation is well versed and comfortable in the use of laptops, tabs other electronic gadgets which are the reason behind the acceptance of technology (Lee, 2014). But it has not yet been widely implemented in colleges and universities. Schools in contrast to universities are seamlessly adopting technology in the classroom. Audio–visual aids, software to better explain concepts. But with the advent of technology, the teachers would soon become facilitators. In contrast to the comfort of learners with digital tools, the older generation of educators may not be conversant with the technology (Lu and Coverbaugh, 2009). There arises a need to impart training and orientation. Often the teacher-student ratio is skewed with an excessive burden on teachers. In most of the schools of India, the ratio is 1:50 which hardly leaves any time and interest on the part of a teacher to embrace new technology and methods. Also, there may be reluctance on the part of the teacher to get trained and adopt new technology.

Challenges of implementing new educational technology

The lack of infrastructure and digital literacy is a major constraint. The Indian education system has courses and study material in many languages and therefore not available on any single vendor platform leading to fragmentation. In secondary and higher secondary schools, the education and content are increasingly being delivered through technology but the assessment is carried out in the written mode which entirely defeats the original purpose of technology assimilation. This issue needs to be addressed. The government has earmarked funds for digitisation and technology implementation in the Indian education system but there are many challenges and factors that are impeding growth.

The challenges behind the applicability and adoption of technology are:

  1. lack of infrastructure,
  2. electricity outages,
  3. low speed and bandwidth access,
  4. the paucity of training modules for teachers and,
  5. a shortfall of tech-savvy teachers.

These aforementioned challenges require government and corporate effort to develop a mutually beneficial ecosystem.

The Government needs to play an active role by contributing to infrastructure, developing systems and promoting the use of technology. E-learning is here to stay and has a promising future. It cannot replace the traditional method but can facilitate the imparting of education and take education deep into the interiors hitherto inaccessible and untouched by literacy digital or otherwise.


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