How Important is it to Digitize Elementary Education in India The recent CBSE paper leak opened the pandora's box of issues that lie within the education sector
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The recent Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exam paper leak has left students in a lurch. Students were in dismay, for board exams essentially mean months of hard work and sleepless nights. For the thousands of students appearing for the boards every year, the pressure is so intense that it often leads to serious mental health woes.
The CBSE is a national level board of education in India for public and private schools, controlled and managed by Union Government of India.
Recent reports suggest Indian board CBSE's Class 12 students have to reappear for the Economics exam; the Class 10 students have been spared from a re-examination owing to a fraudulent paper leak.
In this day and age where technology dominates activities in all walks of life, one wonders why India is restricting its education system to the old-school thought of pen and paper? The leak of the exam question papers, year after year, has brought to the fore the question – Should we turn to technology for help?
Entrepreneur India spoke to experts from the education sector on what they have to say about the digitization of elementary education and how newer methods can be brought into place.
Cloud over Credibility
The CBSE paper leak incident created a massive agitation- like situation among students, parents and the teachers' fraternity across the country. Speaking to Entrepreneur India, Raunak Jain, MD, Tula International School said such an incident put a question mark on the credibility of our education system and its ability to secure the confidential data, believes
"We can clearly see that time has come that we move forward towards the digitization of elementary education system in India. Digitization will ensure security and confidentiality of data and information. Through digitization the authority can get an alert of any unauthorized access beforehand and take required action to stop it," said Jain.
Jain also pointed out that in today's time and age when we are promoting digitization in every field,India should digitize elementary education and examination process as well.
Assess our Assessments
Examination is just one aspect of the education system. Most experts believe that the CBSE paper leak is a gateway to a whole lot of issues that exist in the Indian education sector. Anil Mammen, Chief of Learning Design & Social Impact, Tata ClassEdge, believes the bigger challenge is to relook at the way assessments are conducted.
"Should we continue this system of a centralized board exam to certify our students as being ready for the next level? Is the result of this examination an accurate representation of a student's capabilities and aptitude," asked Mammen.
He believes that being coached to write for this exam, with previous years' question papers and rounds of testing does not preparea student to face the challenges of the real world.
"Maybe we should fix that first before we consider technology, which at the end of the day is only a smart enabler for whatever we choose to do," he said.
Fundamentally, the problem is with giving such a huge importance to one, end-of-the-year exam, believes Abhishek Singhal, Co-Founder of univadmithelp.com. He thinks a better solution would be to develop an assessment method that is continuous and lasts throughout the year.
"Digital technology has a huge role in enabling such a tool. Continuous assessments are also useful in achieving the right assessment outcomes. It will help build a more coherent picture of the individual which is more resilient to outside factors," he said.
With digitization of education, classrooms are expected to become more interactive and participation oriented, which is the need of the hour.
Singhal believes that the digitization of education will help build up knowledge in real-time and develop deeper understanding of particular subjects. "It will help the existing pedagogy system to become interesting. We should seriously take steps to make our education system stronger with support of digitization," he said.