Democratizing Digital: Breaking Barriers for 21st Century Education

Oct. 20, 2022, 2:56 p.m.

By: Reshma Jain

SRF Foundation in association with Capgemini had recently organized a National Conference on ‘Democratizing Digital: Breaking Barriers for 21st Century Education, 2022’. This initiative brought industry leaders, thinkers, doers, exhibitors, and policymakers together on a shared platform, offering opportunities to connect, network, and shape the future to achieve ‘digital literacy for all’.

During the national conference, Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator in India, said, “Education is the foundation of personal growth, informed societies, prosperity, gender equality and sustainable development. However, no sector has been as impacted as education due to the pandemic. But India is incredibly well-positioned to turn this crisis into opportunity. The pandemic has given an opportunity to rethink and to try to use the momentum to transform education through digital technology.”

He further added, “With the National Digital Tech Stack, world leading business and IT sector in India, leading research institutes and the increasing partnerships between research institutes and academia, the pandemic has accelerated the need to digitalise the education sector.”

“We need to walk the talk to bridge the digital divide in the education sector and to accelerate the process”, stated Shoba Meera, Chief CSR officer of Capgemini Group during the inauguration of the conference held at India Habitat centre, New Delhi. She opined, “To address the challenge of Digital inclusion, it takes everybody. It’s not one person or one entity but the ability to come together and to face the challenge in a manner which is effective, efficient and synergistic.”

Board member of SRF Foundation and Joint-Vice Chairperson of The Shri Ram Schools, Vasavi Bharat Ram, stated the need to introduce innovative approaches to drive education and its transformation.

Radhika Bharat Ram, Board member SRF Foundation and Joint-Vice Chairperson of the Shri Ram Schools, said, “Education, when used as a transformational force, drastically improves lives. Education has the power to provide hope, resilience and unleash possibility that can potentially propel human, economic and social development.” “Apart from quality education, adoption of information and communication technologies, introducing innovative teaching methods, new methods of learning and equipping teachers with skills,” added Radhika.

The 21st century educational system must now include the inevitable element of digital transformation. Digital needs to be democratised immediately. Lessening the digital divide that exists in the current system is the goal. The Indian educational system has undoubtedly undergone a change toward the use of digital tools for instruction and training that is provided across sections in the previous two years. With this transition already underway, we must move toward a systematic and organised mechanism to democratise the change. It would result in the same scalability and sustainability resulting in grassroots outreach to those inside the last mile.

The program was designed to exchange valuable thoughts to encourage development in digital education and meet the global standard of education. The event also focused on recognizing and honouring distinguished individuals, institutions, and organizations who have modelled to provide guidance and inspiration to children to explore the progressive learning opportunities of digital education and create a significant difference in the education sector in India.

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