Bridging digital gaps and skill deficits is essential to keep pace with Education 5.0

By Alok BansalMD of Visionet Systems India & Global Head of BFSI Business also notes the importance of technological as well as human-centric learning.

In 2022, the World Economic Forum collaborated with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and YuWaah! – Generation Unlimited India (An initiative launched by UNICEF that provides opportunities to the youth for skill development, productive work, and active citizenship) to launch the Education 4.0 India initiative. This was done to address the learning gaps left in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea was to leverage Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to minimize inequalities, improve foundational literacy and numeracy, connect the unconnected, and improve educational access for children across all demographics. However as MD of Visionet Systems India & Global Head of BFSI Business, Alok Bansal points out, while the critical drivers of educational transformation in Education 4.0 were disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Big Data, in Education 5.0, the focus is on turning digital transformation into a tool for social change.

He explains, “The educational sector across the world is undergoing a huge transformation, especially after the advent of AI-powered tools such as ChatGPT, and DALL-E. Considering the current digital divide in the country, bridging digital gaps and addressing skill deficits is essential for our students to stay relevant. However, Education 5.0 seeks to expand the scope of technology to explore more humanized teaching which is focused on the social and emotional development of students. The question today is not just how Indian students will keep up with the AI-dominated  fifth industrial revolution or find a place in the fast-evolving employment market but also how our society can be improved via a human-centric education system.”

Alok says a more pupil-centered educational approach has the potential to improve the capacity for collaborative work, interpersonal synergy, and conflict management, and to promote diversity of thought. “This model of education can transform students into agents of change and key decision-makers in the development and implementation of solutions that can change our world for the better,” he adds.

About the latest technological tools like ChatGPT, and DALL-E, he says, “ChatGPT can help students to create study plans, solve problems, and improve creative writing capabilities while DALL-E can create realistic images using text descriptions , which can be useful while working on various kinds of assignments. These technologies also help students comprehend difficult or abstract concepts in a simpler and more effective manner. Teachers can also use these tools to create writing prompts, and lesson plans, develop question papers, and automate grades and assessments. However, the goal of Education 5.0 is to use such digital and technological knowledge to promote societal well-being and nourish the human mind to be more insightful, perceptive, imaginative, and creative.”

Alok also emphasizes the need for students and teachers to reskill and upskill themselves to communicate with these technologies and says, “Digital skills are a prerequisite today in most technology-driven sectors and also in the BFSI industry. To stay ahead of the learning curve and to compete with the global talent pool, students should also keep abreast of the latest innovations across the world.”

Alok also reiterates the need for technological upgradation in schools, especially in remote parts of the country, and concludes, “Through proper integration with mainstream education and adequate access to highly skilled and sophisticated faculty, students can thrive successfully in a technologically empowering and human-centric environment. This will also go a long way towards bridging the educational inequality suffered by students in rural and remote areas.”

Alok Bansal is the MD of Visionet Systems India & Global Head of BFSI Business 

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