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Inclusive Education Is The Way Forward: Adi Godrej

There will be differences of opinion or change in ideas but we must keep trying and continue on the same path. India has broad-based democracy that has changed from the British era yet a lot more can be done. Inclusive education is the way forward, say Godrej.

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Education has been underperforming in many ways and from the last decade only few institutes figured in the top 200 global ranking. There are challenges in terms of learning outcomes in the school education in the country. India, with a population of 1.3 billion, needs to find scalable solutions to address these challenges.

A panel discussion took place today at the Gandhi-Mandela Peace Initiative in the national capital. Among the panellist were, Adi Godrej, Chairman of Godrej Group; Ghanshyam Tiwari, Spokesperson – SP, Co-founder, Harvard India Conference and Harvard India Student Group in 2011; Kartikeya Sharma, Founder and Promoter, ITV Network; Aseem Chauhan, Chancellor, Amity University; Dr Madhu Chitkara, Vice-Chancellor, Chitkara University; T. Krishna Prasad, I.P.S, DGP & Chairman, Road Safet Authority, Telangana State and Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra, Chancellor, Shobhit University. The session was moderated by Dr Amit Kapoor, Chairman of Institute for Competitiveness India.

Expressing his view about the education scenario in the country, Adi Godrej said, “There will be differences of opinion or change in ideas but we must keep trying and continue on the same path. India has broad-based democracy that has changed from the British era yet a lot more can be done. Inclusive education is the way forward”.

iTV Network has started a new ‘School for You’ initiative through online medium. The founder believes, “Education is not just the privilege for few but for everyone. We have to come up with new ways and scalable solutions to impart education and for a country like India, it is imperative”.

“The whole education process teaches you how to learn and the way we learn is changing very quickly. Technology is a big enabler and we have to imbibe the quality of technology in educating the people to the last mile”, Kartikeya Sharma added.

To understand the perspective of educational institutes on emerging technologies that are disrupting the market, Amit Kapoor further asked the panellist their views. To which Aseem Chauhan said, “All the educational institutions will have to evolve and this is the opportunity to not to be stuck in standard space of imparting education. Many universities are already leveraging technologies and blended learning”.

He further emphasized of soft skills and said, “In today’s world, softer skills such as, ethics, values and leadership are critical for education. To have better ethical thinking educational institutes need to imbibe the softer skills in the curriculum, put role models in front of students and partner with right organisations”.

Chitkara University has adopted 5 villages around the institute and the slots are given to the students to understand the problem of the society. The students then reach out to the people of village and the understand their hardships. 

“Normally we say, there is a gap between academia and industry but now it is a tripolar project i.e. academia, industry and society who have to work together to understand who should be the role model”, said Madhu Chitkara.

Furthermore, Ghanshyam Tiwari pointed out that with the emerging technologies, literacy is no longer the foundation of education. He said, “we are currently at a stage where amount of education mattered but now we are at the point where information is easily available and how does one curate the information for them is more important”.

He added, “The today’s generation has the opportunity to acquire the information and champion the segment. And as a nation, we need to create champions in every segment”.

Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra further told that the education has to be from the body, soul and spirit. He stated, “We have forgotten the purpose of education. The purpose of education was to be a good human being first. From empowerment, the purpose has become employment and the purpose has turned to earning rather than learning”.

He also points out that everyone is are talking about artificial intelligence but not about emotional and human intelligence.

T. Krishna Prasad has adopted government schools with an objective to bring the enrolment rate from 88 per cent to 100 per cent and the drop rate from 18 per cent to zero per cent. He expresses, “Education is all about giving the human being, a human dignity. I define education as imparting the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude for an individual to lead a simple life with human dignity”.

After 72 years of independence, the 17 per cent of the population of the country below the poverty line. “We have to retweet our priorities, policies and strategies in such a manner that all the 17 per cent of the population, which is not having the access to schools, is now the top priority to have the access to schools”, Prasad asserted.

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