Stem Education Addressing The Need For Developed And Super Power India

Prof (Dr.) Dinesh Goyal, Director, Poornima Institute Of Engineering & Technology Having more than 18 years of experience in Research and Academic Activities, Dr. Dinesh Goyal is currently working as a professor in the Dept. of Computer science and Engineering at Poornima Institute of Engineering & Technology. Specialized in NAAC and other Accreditation activities Prof. Dinesh has expertise in Information Security Image Processing and Cloud Computing, and has written more than 60 International & National Papers.

Indian Education Scenario: It’s Era of ‘Vishwaguru’ to becoming ‘World’s Biggest Technology Market’

•The Era of Vishawguru
India has always been known for its education and knowledge dissimilation since ancient times, worldwide for its contribution to the field of science and mathematics. With literature like 'Vedas' & ‘Upanishads’ portraying many scientific theories being posed and used today by global technology leaders, many modern day technical luxuries were illustrated in its works of literature like Ramayana, Mahabharata, and many more.

Then we had the historic time of 'Invention of Zero' in early BCs to scientists like Dr. J C Bose, Dr. H G Khurana, Mathematicians like Ramanujan and many more in 19th and 20th century followed by Indian dominance is Silicon Valley in 21st Century.

•Becoming 'World's Biggest Technology Market'
With globalization and open market theory, in the 21st century, the world has changed its vision of converting science into technology for ensuring ‘Ease of Life’ and fast access to information any time anywhere. India has not scaled its education and youth for developing more technology, whereas today India has become the biggest market place for technology vendors with a market share of more than $181 billion in 2018-19 of which technology spending of $87 in the same period. This has made our education look lean and small which is not able to provide new technology to the world at a brisk pace as other nations are doing.

Indian School Education: 'Impoverished System' and 'Alarming Figures'

•Indian School Education: Impoverished System
The Indian school education system has not evolved for decades. Currently it is a 3-Tier architecture followed by least opted higher education, which lacks emphasis on science and mathematics education in an appropriate manner, which has students to lose interest in technical education in higher studies and results of the same can be seen by every year almost 20 percent loss in enrollment in technical education and those who opt for it are moving away to IT sector with least innovative contribution.
•Indian School Education: Alarming Figures
India has grown at a good pace in the past 70 years with almost 18 percent literacy in 1950 to 77 percent literacy rate by 2017. For this growth, India has more than 15 lakh (1.5 Million) schools across its geography with 87 (8.7 Million)lakh teachers and 26 Crore (260 Million) enrollment. This means for every 30 kids we have only 1 teacher. Believe it or not this is after two major education reforms by the Government of India in 2001(Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) and in 2009 (Free and Compulsory education under RTE) so that in the next 30 years, India may reach 100 percent literacy.

Time for Change to Indian Education System for Developed Nation: Rolling out STEM Education
We need a vast population from age of 18 to 40 who provide environment friendly, sustainable and low cost technology with ease of leaving at priority. For this, we need to change our education model and adapt STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Management) Education. As the name suggests STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics through an applied, interdisciplinary approach and a concept driven approach that would strengthen students' analytical knowledge, problem solving abilities.

STEM educational model has to be implemented at all the levels of education in India, that is:
•Primary school- Here we can have a basic model of inquiry-based and real world problem solving based education system connecting all 4 dimensions of STEM The goal shall be to make aptitude of students more inquisitive and challenging the tiny problems.
•Middle school- STEM Education at this level of education becomes more handson learning, which can inspire the adolescent to choose a career in technology. More exposure to science and technology in labs and fields will create excitement towards the use of science and mathematics as a career.
•Secondary school- at this level, the use of technology in academics and scientific applications and mathematical modeling becomes a process of learning, with innovation as an outcome. This is will also attract more GER and that too more in the engineering field.

India and its efforts towards STEM Education: Till date and Road Ahead
India has also started implementing STEM education for creating more than 10 lakh (1 million) agile minds across India, with ATAL Tinkering Labs (ATL) under the Atal Innovation Mission, being established at schools by NITI Aayog, with an objective for nurturing curiosity, innovation, and creating in young India. The first phase of ATL has been able to bring 1 million has brought India a step closer to the mission of creating one million child innovators in India by 2020. Smart India Hackathons(SIH) has been another platform at the higher education level, which involves more than 20 lakh youth every year to participate in challenges to provide technology based innovative solutions to social problems.

Indian Education system needs to transpire more into blended learning with STEM education at its core. Following measures should be taken by the government immediately to achieve at least 25 percent enrollment under STEM education at all levels of education
•Blending STEM education as a formal system, by integrating it with curriculum
•No book based education up to primary education, it should be either field based on real world interaction of young minds
•More innovation funds to be allotted to all the academic institutions across India, whether it’s a school level or HEI level
•Academic Institutions should be encouraged by having separate 4-tier, ranking framework for Innovation, on the similar lines of NIRF
•HEI should be made mandatory to make an award of degree with 2-3 science and technology based Innovation as basic minimum criteria for being eligible for the award of the degree.

In the end, India has been 'Vishwaguru' for generations and can again become ‘Vishwaguru’ by implementing STEM Education. We don’t want to become a Technology market we want to provide the world by having a vision of 'Innovate in India Use Science & Technology in Life'.