Education today and the Future Prospects
There has been rethinking about the structural education system and its mode of delivery the world over, for quite some time that has recently been hastened in the aftermath of the unprecedented natural calamity, the international community of nations is going through, due to the spread of Covid-19 and the global pandemic. Primary, secondary and higher education all got severely impacted and in the process newer and more effective modes of delivery were experimented evoking some kind of revolution in the education industries both at the levels of the organized public and private sectors and the unorganized and informal education providers.
The wide spread and efficient use of information communication technologies (ICT) have only added to the revolution that is now in its testing phase. Internet teaching and learning that is dedicated video based or through streaming platforms is getting acceptance and learners are enjoying the elaborate visual explanations and flexibility. This is proving to be a game changer however the purist’s argument goes in favor of social and behavioral advantages of class-room learning.
In such a background, what are the best options that hold good for the near and distant future, is a question very complex to answer categorically. For the sake of understanding if we look at higher education options that have so far withstood the test of times and have been very effective in educating the masses both at the general and specialized levels and has produced scholars and professionals who have served the humanity reach this present level of progress in all spheres of life and the need of the future; who would have imagined at the time of the last global pandemic of Spanish Flu a century ago that a vaccine can be developed within a years’ timeframe and successfully administered to a large population across the globe meeting logistic challenges of geographical and social distribution across nations and societies. The scientific, technological, managerial, economic and socio-political hurdles are being cleared by the educated professionals with efficient ease today proving that education is a necessary process of growth and development and more the flexibility to experiment available – as provided by the pandemic - better the possibilities of effective results.
Education and training in all the above mentioned and many more areas is readily available and the SOPs are well established. So what should change and why? Coming back to the impact of the pandemic resulting in extensive use of ITC for substituting classroom-teaching to home- teaching & learning; the debate is reaching its crescendo waiting only for the final notes to be played out loud and clear. There is no doubt that that higher education has changed for ever and hybrid or blended learning is a necessity not an option. Secondly, higher education cannot remain segregated in compartments and inter and cross disciplinary study streams will have to be available in the choices on offer instead of straight jacket models of medical, technological, social and philosophical studies. A young person of this generation (give whatever fancy name to it) cannot be imprisoned into one stream for life and a doctor and an engineer has to be an economist and a manager besides being a life philosopher and even if s/he likes a musician and a poet!
Higher education, more than primary and secondary education which will fulfill the behavioral need for social capabilities, of the future will be bundles of choices that the aspirant has chosen in a bouquet for himself. So s/he will be a medicinal economist or a technological philosopher or a music engineer or maybe an sprinter sociologist or a political manager! This will challenge the structured university/college system and more so the accreditation and regulating authorities to change and adapt and come out of the slumber of “authoritative quality control” into the applied and practical world of futuristic knowledge, competencies & wisdom.
Some institutions are approaching the future faster than the legacy educational behemoths. Younger and forward thinking professionals are entering into the field of providing education that is practical and professional, in the process paving the way for educational structure for tomorrow. Catch up with them, should be the suggestion for the young aspirants instead of forcing their spirits to surrender to the systems that the previous generations were a slave of.
The time for the future has arrived – where are you!
Dr. Amitabh Upadhya , President , Global Business Studies (GBS) , Dubai.
Visit Website : https://gbs.ac.ae/