Can Indian Education reform learn from the US plan?
The Obama administration has just released the first public draft of the National Education Technology Plan (NETP). As the name suggests, it proposes to infuse technology throughout the system. That is not much of a surprise- it is stating the obvious. But, to me, the most exciting part is that this report is the first comprehensive effort, in a very long time- since the concept of Universal education was floated, to transform education in America rather than just make changes at the margin. Bravo!!
Many of the recommendations in the 114-page document may be onsidered radical because they questions the very foundation of the present education system. For example, age-determined grade levels, measuring achievement through “seat time,” keeping students in the same classes throughout the year, and even keeping individual academic disciplines separate, the length of the school day/ school year and the wall between K-12 and “higher education”. The fact that technology allows you to provide mass customization and has been standard operating procedure in industry for decades, makes these recommendations not as radical and scary as they may seem It is refreshing that the policy makers are dealing with the process of seminal innovation and not incremental change.
People interested in education reform anywhere in the world would be remiss if they did not study this document in great detail to glean nuggets for their own efforts. I know I am going to study this report as I have not studied a subject since my college exam days!!