The World Education Summit and Awards is an annual event hosted by Elets Technomedia in collaboration with DigitalLearning Magazine. The four-day summit took place from June 23-26, 2021. Leading educationalists and experts shared their insights on future directions, technological solutions, and best practices to transform the education system while achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4, Quality Education.
Lt. Gen Surendra Kulkarni, the Director of Mayo College, Ajmer, one of India’s best schools, was a distinguished speaker. Some of the other educators who shared their insights at the summit include Raghav Poddar (Chairman, Podar Education), Surabhi Goel (CEO, Aditya Birla Education Trust Schools, Mumbai), K. Prabhakaran (Headmaster, The Lawrence School Lovedale, Ooty) and Abhimanyu Basu (Dean of Academics, Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai).
The focus of this year’s summit was Innovation in Education. The recently launched Amrita AHEAD Online Degree Program was an Associate Event Partner. Amrita AHEAD aims to make quality education inclusive, affordable, and accessible to students. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has a proven track record of leading innovation in educational technology through research at its various research centers.
Prof. Sumeet Bahl (Director, Academia-Industry Partnerships, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham), delivered a talk on the Amrita AHEAD Online Program. Prof. Bhal emphasized the importance of education for life and compassion-driven action, which sets the university apart from other higher education institutes. These efforts have translated into Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings securing the 5th position for SDG 4 Quality Education globally.
Another crucial aspect touched upon by Prof. Bahl was that AHEAD programs are affordable, inclusive, give students access to world-class faculty, and have strong industrial tie-ups. Moreover, this program has flexible learning schedules with multiple entry and exit options and additional opt-in certifications. The programs are designed employing the four-quadrant model and are closely aligned with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2021.
A number of panel discussions centered on New Education Policy 2020, the digital divide, the significance of AI in school education, and the need for collaborative learning were conducted. Prof. Sandhya Harikumar (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri) moderated the panel on the Importance of AI and Other Emerging Tech in Education: Challenges & Opportunities.
Prof. Harikumar pointed out, “I will not say that technology will substitute teachers but leads to better education. Personalized education can help efficiently carry out teaching and student learning.” Prof. Harikumar added that agnostic learning makes education accessible to students in rural areas adopting low-cost ICT tools citing the success of the AmritaRITE program. Additionally, she pointed out that Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s Online Labs (OLabs) and Virtual Labs (VLabs) are making education inclusive for all learners.
The Amrita professors’ insights and the university’s innovative educational initiatives were well received and appreciated at the summit. At the same time, they addressed educators’ concerns about the scope, possible reach, and use of ICT tools in the classroom and beyond, emphasizing the need to embrace EduTech at the school level.