The New Normal – Impact on Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship

The New Normal – Impact on Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship

The major disruption caused by COVID-19 took place in the manufacturing and software industry, has swept through the higher education traversing all the sectors of economies across the globe. In particular, education, right from the school level to higher education in the universities is directly impacted by the new normal.

“The Future of Job” is redefined in this new normal; compels us to work partly from home and partly from office.

There would be new times we will enter after 2020 whereby, the industry would also look at keeping 30 to 40 percentage of the workforce operating from their homes.

Further, all sectors of the industry would be looking to onboard two kinds of human resources. The Future of Employment compels us to understand how we work collaboratively as a remote team and partly from the office to provide the best of the services and performances to the organization.

The new normal would require following capabilities:

  • Self-learning
  • Adapt to new technologies
  • Effective communication

These are the essential capabilities of the new work workforce which we have to take into account while redesigning or rebooting our higher education.

Enterprise Development

Technological advancements like BigData, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning etc., are taking place in today’s enterprise development. With these technological advancements robots have been rapidly replacing the human intelligence as Industry 4.0 is going to be era of artificial intelligence.

As India has 17% of young population in the world, the youth of the nation should focus on the economic development of the country.

Along with the “Industry 4.0” we must look at what we earlier called the third industrial revolution – “Mass Entrepreneurship” that focused on creating millions of jobs at small level enterprises throughout the country in the rural areas. Such focus would become a new normal for the development of enterprises and entrepreneurship; Gram Swaraj initiative envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi would be a great example.

The objective of Gram Swaraj is to transform every village into a self-sufficient autonomous entity where all the systems and facilities for a dignified living are available. By creating highly productive employment in villages, we can avoid the migration of massive population to the cities.

Digital Learning in New Normal

Next to entrepreneurship, exploiting Digital learning would be more gratifying in sensitizing students to learn solving real problems of the society. It can be done through a blended digital learning model. The industry should become an integral part of education to realize such vision.

Digital Learning also facilitates collaborative learning enabling small groups from remote locations connect in a seamless environment of learning. We need to promote collaborative learning to develop team spirit which is vital for the workforce of tomorrow.

Collaborative learning demands a sea of change in the minds of teachers. Today, it is necessary that teachers allow students to teach in the class. To put it simply, we are in an age in which teachers must learn from students, students must learn from teachers, and students must learn from their peers as well.

Young India is naturally more excited and keen to use digital technology and that is a great sign of strength for the future of the nation.

Another great opportunity at our doorstep is to take digital technologies to rural India, where 65 to 70 percentage of the Indian population lives. Here, we have an excellent opportunity to offer quality education and skill development using modern digital technology platforms.

Technology-empowered education could transform rural India into a highly productive pocket that makes formidable contribution to the nation’s economy. The dream of strengthening the bottom of the pyramid would then be realized as part of the New India Vision.

Finally, lifelong learning would become more important as we penetrate deep into tomorrow’s innovation-centric, tech-savvy industries and enterprises-based industrial development.

Digital transformation shall aid achieving the long-desired goal of good governance. When technology and transparency come together it creates trust, whereas transparency and trust together creates honesty, and that impacts the behaviour of people both in power and also those who are served.

This article is transcribed from the keynote address delivered by Prof P.B. Sharma taking part in the ICT Academy SKYCAMPUS themed “Theme Name”.

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