By Sumeet Mehta, Cofounder & CEO, LEAD School
Thanks to COVID 19, Edtech is not a choice anymore, it is an essential. Technological innovations like online classes, learning management systems, etc. are now becoming a part and parcel of our education system. While everyone from banks, to news, to offices have adopted technology systems to operate more effectively & efficiently, the classroom and school had been stagnant for the past 60-70 years. Covid-19 disrupted this status quo and now school owners have been forced to embrace technology.
As we come out of the pandemic, core education will continue to be offered in schools but schools will look and act very different. There will be far greater permeation of systems and technology to make schools run effectively. Till about 12 years of age, mediated learning (learning assisted by a trusted adult) is essential. Teachers will continue to play an important role till high school but they will need to be enabled by technology. Going forward, learning will become more and more personalised. Schools will need to personalise for students’ speed of understanding, interest in different subjects and language ability.
Since students will come back after a year of interruptions, schools will need to plan for bridge courses and remedial to cover gaps of the previous year and prepare students for the new class. In addition, schools will need to invest in building the capability of their teachers for socio-emotional support, pastoral care and access to medical services so that the well-being and safety of students is taken care of. Schools will need to embrace technology to be able to handle a hybrid mode of operating, facilitate learning beyond the boundary of the school on days the child cannot come in and enabling teachers to handle the complexity of classes in this world.
India has to not only bring back all the students who have suffered massive learning losses in 2020, it also has to ensure it stays focused on improving the quality of learning outcomes in its schools. It will be easy to get busy with survival but true leadership would be to aim high, and bring back students to a new, better normal and not regress to 5 year old levels of poor access and poor outcomes.