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Education 4.0 India Report Highlights Solutions to Strengthen Digital Infrastructure for Learning in India

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As part of its Education 4.0 India initiative, the World Economic Forum has launched a new Education 4.0 Report on how digital and other technologies can address learning gaps and make education accessible to all.

 

The Education 4.0 India report is the result of a collaboration between the World Economic Forum, the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) and YuWaah (Generation Unlimited India). It tracks the progress and findings of the Education 4.0 India initiative, which focuses on how Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies can enhance learning and reduce inequalities in access to education among children in India. The report also explores challenges and identifies solutions that can be realized as scalable interventions to enable India’s youth to participate in the evolving workspace.

 

Education 4.0 India aims to address the disparities in India’s education sector and to empower and engage young people. It proposes a roadmap to improve India’s school system and serves as a call to action to all stakeholders in the ed-tech space to come together to transform the sector.

The report also provides a framework for the development of scalable pilots that can be implemented by state governments and ecosystem partners. This includes best practices that can augment the existing education ecosystem and be useful for a wide range of stakeholders. The report identifies gaps in foundational literacy and numeracy, teacher professional development, school-to-work transition, and connecting the unconnected and suggests solutions with five common building blocks – curriculum, content, capacity, community, and digital infrastructure.

Jeremy Jurgens, Managing Director of, the World Economic Forum, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gaps in learning outcomes among school children in India. These gaps have been magnified for children, particularly from disenfranchised and vulnerable families who face innumerable socio-economic issues that also have been worsened by the pandemic. Through the Education 4.0 India initiative, the Forum, together with UNICEF India and YuWaah, aims to offer insights and recommendations that transcend the education landscape in India and can achieve global impact. This is the first partnership for the Forum and UNICEF at the country level.”

Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Generation Unlimited (YuWaah), Youth Development and Partnerships, UNICEF, said: “UNICEF and YuWaah have been working towards expanding learning, skills development, social impact and economic opportunities for young people in India. Coming together for the Education 4.0 India initiative with the World Economic Forum, the partnership aims to boost the efforts of the Government and private sector in these areas and to implement solutions at scale while leaving no young person behind. The partnership drives a multistakeholder response to identifying challenges, opportunities, and priorities to develop solutions that can transform India’s education sector.”

Terry Durnnian, Chief of Education, UNICEF, said: “With the Education 4.0 initiative, World Economic Forum, UNICEF, and YuWaah are working with partners to make education more accessible and inclusive for all children with a focus on the most vulnerable. The partnership aims to reduce drop-out rates, and improve learning outcomes by using more adaptive learning systems and community engagement. It leverages the power of collaborative thinking to identify and frame priority areas that would accelerate the progress on National Education Policy 2020 and be a game changer for the education ecosystem in India.”

The Education 4.0 India initiative has convened over 40+ partners from the education, technology, private, government, academic, and start-up sectors. The report is a result of their deliberations and is aimed at building a robust strategy that can be widely implemented while being cost-effective and sustainable. Under four themes – foundational literacy and numeracy, teacher professional development, school-to-work transition, and connecting the unconnected – the report identifies gaps and outlines interventions, each substantiated by case studies and an implementation roadmap to bring impact on scale.

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