Internet technology could replace shortage of good teachers, experts

Mumbai (ISJ) - Ashok Kolaskar 0501As India faces shortage of good, motivated teachers, the country may have to look to e-learning to reach out to the growing army of students, says internet and educational experts attending the 102nd Indian Science Congress in Mumbai. Prof. Ashok Kolaskar, Consultant with Internet2 ? a community of US and international leaders in research, academia, industry and government on innovative technologies, said, ?motivated teachers at the university level has gone up but the supply for it has gone down?.

Prof. Kolaskar said, there is need to bring about pedagogical changes where one is thinking about the job of the teacher as not a provider of information, but as someone who can tell you how to learn.

?Children should be evaluated differently and not examined so that a great future musician does not end up in an engineering college without his wish,? commented Prof. Kolaskar. ?Assessing children should be driven not by examinations, but by competency-driven credentialing.?

Prof. Kolaskar suggested use of internet technology to combat existing severe faculty shortages, and tap global experts.

VCBITS Jain 0501His views found echo in the statements of Prof. Brijendra Nath Jain, Vice Chancellor of Birila Institute of Technology and Science, BITS, Pilani (Rajasthan). Prof. Jain said the gross enrolment ratio (GER) of students is expected to go up exponentially from 19% to 30% by 2025 or from 28 million students to 50 million students. Educational institutions are also growing, especially in the private sector, while the number of motivated teachers are in short, he added.

?Internet could provide open distance learning, cutting across regions, languages, economic conditions,? said Prof. Jain.

Prof. Jain said, internet technology in the coming years is expected to grow significantly in terms of bandwidth ? 10+ Mbps per user by 2020 to 100 Mbps by 2025, with significant improvement in drop rates, jitter and reliability ? all at reduced costs. It will expand the reach of communication in both developed and developing countries. In India, Internet is expected to bring significant improvements in under-served north-eastern regions. He said, improved security and privacy, development of new applications not foreseen today and ?internet things? ? interaction between human and ?things? with ?things? or remote access of instruments and equipment through sensors and actuators are all evolving technology trends.

Prof. Bharat Bhaskar of Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow felt, with improvement in technology, the big data and artificial intelligence-based analysis technique would probably be anticipating our every move. He said with wearable devices and augmented reality, early detection of disease risks would be possible and lifestyle and medication and gaming sectors would also be benefitted.

-NB Nair

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