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'Government Needs Private Players To Transform Education In India'

Government wants private partners for the changes in the social sectors like education to take place on ground. Technology can also offer interactivity.

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India is growing at a rate of over 7 per cent and to accelerate this growth, India needs to focus on social sectors like healthcare and education. 33 percent of student in India are stunted, while 42 percent of students are unable to study in their mother tongue. Quality of education and healthcare has fallen radically and it is important to focus on healthcare and education.

Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, highlighted that India’s growth is not possible till there is focus on key social sectors like education, health and nutrition. This is impossible without the right use of technology and right partners on the ground level. It is not possible for India to transform 21st century education in India with 19th century institutes.

Government wants private partners for the changes in the social sectors like education to take place on ground. Technology can also offer interactivity. It is a common misconception in higher education institutions and amongst educationists that technology is elite in India, or solutions offered are of no educational value and are not interesting to engage with.

Nayantara Sabavala, Associate Director, Tata Trusts said, “The primary focus of the Trusts is to bring quality and equity in education. We see technology bringing equality for all. We don’t see bringing only digital literacy and tech savvy people to the classroom. We are using technology as a tool through which education content comes alive and is easily understood; and that is when the actual learning will take place.”

Regional and economic differences continue to constrain India's literacy levels. There might be a steady increase in school enrolment but quality education and age-appropriate learning continue to remain elusive.

Tata Trusts has focused on ensuring quality education for children as well as adults, especially those from marginalised backgrounds. They have taken multiple initiatives, including Integrated approach to Technology in Education (ITE); Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx), and strategic partnership with Khan Academy, Tata Trusts have been striving to bridge this gap.

Tata Trusts is changing the literacy landscape of India by incorporating information and communication technology (ICT) tools in curriculum and pedagogy.

Amrita Patwardhan, Head, Education Portfolio, Tata Trusts added, “Most of the education portfolio work is rural, and we have specifically focused on tribal areas and areas that need public funding. Some of the resources we have developed are opensource and available for everyone to access. We have three main projects, integrated approach to technology in education to improve teaching and learning processes; Connected learning initiative, which aims to build an ecosystem with technology led educational offering for high school students & teachers; and partnership with Khan Academy where
NCERT curriculum, for grades 3 – 12, is translated into different languages and is available both online and offline.”

Another education initiative of Tata Trusts has been IISc, which has completed its 108 years of establishment and has become the premier institute for advanced scientific and technological research and education in India.

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