HomeLatest NewsIndia needs 21st century teachers for enlightened GenZ students: Disale

India needs 21st century teachers for enlightened GenZ students: Disale

MUMBAI: It took an invisible Covid-19 virus to suddenly expose how the Indian education system was throttled by the pandemic and apparently lacked in effectively rising to changing needs and challenges of the modern AI-driven era, says globally-acclaimed Maharashtra teacher, Ranjitsinh Disale.

As India takes the first step from its Platinum to the Centennial year of Independence in (2047), Disale feels that education must form the “strongest foundation” for the country to confront the upcoming new challenges effectively.


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“Currently we have students of the ’21st Century’ being taught by teachers of the ’20th Century’, relying on a ’19th Century’ curriculum with ’18th Century’ teaching techniques… All this must change, if India has to not simply march, but race ahead of all other nations,” Disale, 33, told IANS.
The winner of the Varkey Foundation-UNESCO’s top ‘Global Teacher Prize-2020’, worth $1 million (Rs 7.50 crore), the Solapur-based teacher rued how in the pandemic, the country was barely able to cope with the trials of ‘Learn From Home’ (LFH) for students from the big metros to the remotest hamlets in different corners of the country.

With schools/colleges downing shutters for over a year now, students virtually had to fend for themselves at LFH during the past 18-months of the Coronavirus pandemic, Disale said.

Needless to say, limited financial resources or tech-access like SmartPhones, computers, erratic Internet and other constraints left both the teachers and students in many regions feeling utterly handicapped and frustrated.

“Having learnt this lesson, we must now start preparing our teachers for the 21st Century… The students of today are probably ‘more aware’ than at any point in the past 75 years of Independent India largely due to television, mobiles, computers, Internet, etc,” Disale pointed out.

While lauding the objective of the landmark ‘Right To Education (RTE) Act, 2009’, he said now, the law can be amended to incorporate ‘Right Education’ and ‘Right Way of Education’ for the benefit of the students, the teachers and the country at large.

Disale said the new breed of teachers must be adequately trained, equipped and empowered to cater to and handle not only the well-informed modern students but also nurture the eager gen-next, especially if encountered by a LFH-like situation ever again…

“These very teachers and students will help build a New India… They will have more confidence, ability to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the world as humanity hurtles to the mysterious but fascinating tech-driven future, where only Sky’s the Limit,” smiled Disale.

To realize this, he urged the corporates to invest more in the technological aspects of education like computers, mobiles, Internet connectivity, smart classrooms, etc, alongside the government efforts, to catapult Indian education at par with the international standards.

Disale pointed out that in turn, this will boost another critical sector of the Indian agro-economy on which 75 percent of the population depends, and with adequate knowledge-based technological inputs, agriculture outputs can soar to new heights.

A humble teacher for 11 years at the Paritewadi Zilla Parishad School in Solapur, Disale is credited with transforming education by using QR codes, audio-poems, video-lectures and other innovations to impart lessons which helped drastically reduce dropout rates, especially among the girl students, and other benefits, grabbing the world’s attention.

Earlier, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had recognised Disale’s work in his book, ‘Hit Refresh’, while the Indian government had honoured him with the ‘Innovative Researcher of the Year-2016’ and the National Innovation Foundation’s ‘Innovator of the Year-2018’ awards.

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