Starting off the second day of Excellence in School Education, a panel of eminent speakers took the stage and discussed the role of education from a broader perspective.
From Tata Consultancy Services, Mr. Venguswamy Ramaswamy (Swamy) spoke about the changing education code in India. Under the gurkul system the aim of education was a life of wisdom, but under the institutional model of education, the purpose of education became that of an employable graduate. However, in today's environment, key attributes include being a problem solver, one who is inventive and entrepreneurial.
Speaking to the same theme, Mr. Akhil Shahani, Director of Kaizen, suggested that the purpose of education today is to teach “not what is in every book in the library, but rather how to access that information.” Students are living in a world where information is accessible, and often the challenge is not a shortage of information, but rather an information over-load where they need to make decisions about how credible and reliable information is. Educators, Shahani said face the challenge to “teach smarter since the real value of school is bringing out the talent with the child.”
Mr. Swaspawan Singh, former Representative of India to the UN, gave the final address of the morning's session. He challenged the gathering to define educational success only when there are delivery systems in place to reach the largely impacted portion of the population.
He spoke to the teachers and school heads in the room challenging them to “give this generation a larger moral purpose” and make students who are “responsible not just to India, but to the whole world.” These students “have an enhanced sense of global responsibility, whether you like it or not” he commented.
Tackling the question about the role of innovation in education, Mr. Singh challenged that innovation will be significant when it comes in the form of increased access to education-reaching those children who are in classrooms without teachers, let alone enough books.