For the national conference “Democratising Digital – Breaking Barriers for 21st Century Education,” more than 45 business titans from the education and corporate sectors driving digital transformation gathered. In collaboration with the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce, Leading Purpose Campaigns, World Wide Fund for Nature, and UN-YuWaah, the event was powered by Capgemini and coordinated by SRF Foundation (Generation Unlimited).
The conference aimed at fostering a spirit of collaboration among existing players in the digital education sector as well as elevating the voices of new stakeholders and pushing the boundaries of and the agenda for inclusivity in education via digital transformation.
All The key leaders come together to redefine the scope, potential and benchmarks of digital education and skilling for emerging workforce in India.
“In order for holistic growth of the next generation, we need to break the silos and encourage collaborative action. Platforms like Democratrising Digital encourage collaboration and hence exponentially increases the cumulative support received by students and teachers. Therefore, enabling the next generation with 21st century skills,” said Dr. Suresh Reddy, CEO, SRF Foundation.
In the past two years, the Indian education system has had to pivot and expedite the adoption of digital tools for schooling and skilling. The environmentally driven changes coupled with the systemic changes brought by the National Education Policy 2020 has increased the need for reforms in the education sector. In the increasingly interconnected and complex world, the students need crucial skills that help students learn how to build strong relationships, especially with people from different backgrounds and cultures.
Representatives from NITI Aayog, NCERT, CBSE engaged in forward looking and solution focused discussions on curriculum & pedagogy and the need for collective action with key stakeholders from the civil society and leading educational institutes including IIM Bangalore, Delhi University, IIT Madras and Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Capgemini and the SRF Foundation have been working with 9 government schools in Chennai, Bengaluru and Noida to strengthen the foundation of students in order to support their career aspirations in the IT sector. A formal impact report with Aspire’s Impact Rating will be released soon that will capture the end-to-end program impact across reach, depth, inclusion and sustainability.
Shobha Meera, Chief CSR Officer, Capgemini stated that “We believe technology is an opportunity for all and people should never be limited in work and life by a lack of digital skills. As a leader in digital transformation, Capgemini actively collaborates with NGOs, government bodies and educational institutions to bridge this digital divide.”
The head UNRC Shombi Sharp also graced the occasion as the guest of honor and representative of the UN in the conference. He started his address with the statement “Mujhe aap sabse mil kar bahaut achcha lag raha hai”. He mentioned that the initiative by Capgemini and SRF Foundation will set an example for the rest of the world to follow the lead towards Democratizing Digital: Breaking Barriers For 21st Century Education. India has transformed the crisis of pandemic into an opportunity. The forward looking policy of NEP 2020 in education encourages and stresses on the inclusion of technology and AI based learning within the education system. The need of the hour is also towards bridging the digital divide existing in the demographic. He mentioned that the UN system recognises India as a leader w.r.t. the best practices in the implementation of SDGs 2030 as a nation. His presence in the panel also brought a refreshing definition of diversity. As it was one of the occasions where the panel was represented by the women. It was appropriately placed as 11th October is also celebrated as International Girl Child Day.
The entire event was graced with multiple panel discussions. The highlights are as follows :
- Leaving no one behind – Bridging the Learning Gap
- India on track- Catalyzing Educational Reforms
- Voice of Youth: Skills for the Future – Working with young people, for young people in building 21st century skills
- India online: Inclusive Digital Education for the Next Generation
- Demolishing Digital Divide: Through Accessible, Affordable and inclusive Technology
- Future of Jobs: Impact on Equal Employment Opportunities
- Transforming Tomorrow Together: Partnerships towards digital equity
The event also felicitated the teachers and students from various parts of the country. There was an exhibition held for showcasing the projects created by them. Most of them have been successful in depicting STEM education within the schools across the country.