World Education Council, The Policy Times, Checkmate, and Al Ameen Mission jointly organized South Asia Education Conference 2021 on Thursday, July 29 from 2 pm to 7 pm to guide the students in the South Asian region especially India, Bangladesh, and Nepal to ‘Design A Better Future Post-Pandemic’ given the current transformation in the industry due to digitization and technology as dominant factors including others and how should they wisely build their academic career to have a prosperous professional career.
The South Asia Education Conference 2021 witnessed Hon’ble education minister of Manipur, Shri S Rajen Singh, as Chief Guest and many eminent persons from India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Prof. K.K. Aggarwal, Chairman, National Board of Accreditation (NBA), Mrs. Gloria Jharna Sarker, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Bangladesh came together to deliberate and enlighten students and guide them on making informed choices on their academic and professional career and productive life.
Shri S. Rajen Singh, Hon’ble Education Minister of Manipur, reiterated that in today’s time of pandemic India has come up with the NEP 2020, which primarily focuses on lifelong learning but the current scenario and circumstances require new initiatives and should recognize the importance of technology in education and acquiring skills. But as we know wherever there is a challenge, opportunities co-exist, and we have worked for it for a better future. The concept of offline and online learning is the future for assessment. The NEP 2020 also promotes critical skill development and vocational education and its relevance has increased with the pandemic. We need specific strategies and plans for the future to overcome the effects caused by the pandemic.
Dr. P Sekhar, Chairman Unleashing India, Global Smart City Panel, MTGF Concur Technologies (India), threw light on the post-pandemic academic scenario in the nation. Education is the backbone of a country and the sheer large demography has posed quite a tough challenge to build a solid system of guidance for them. And to overcome this challenge education hub has to be built with the aim of providing quality institutional facilities for education and research. The underlying idea is to develop an educational and knowledge base for its basic- educational, technical, vocational, research, and cultural needs. Regardless of all, there are opportunities to advance education in the post-pandemic period by introducing scientific literacy within the curriculum, establishing the teaching profession and teacher collaboration, having form global solidarity to end current levels of inequality, has to strengthen education as a common, there have to be free and open-source technologies that will be available to teachers and students.
Professor KK Agarwal, Chairman, National Board of Accreditation (NBA) took the liberty to explain a few points in simple terms to students so that they have a bright future ahead, he says that our education has become more of the route learning where students only remember what is being taught and do not think about it. And therefore it is high time that students should focus more on multiple skills rather than only learning without implying, because at some point of time all these learning processes can be mechanized, and one should acquire the capability to learn new things and learn oneself, try to find the solutions of the problems by themselves.
Mrs. Gloria Jharna Sarker, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Bangladesh – spoke on transformation and digitization in education, she said, “We try to build understanding amongst students so that informed choice leads to productive contribution to the society. Bangladesh is the fastest-growing economy in South Asia. Its capital growth has resulted in a large working-age population. The demographic dividend is forecast to continue to rise to 79% from 2022 to 2024. Bangladesh has introduced quite groundbreaking changes in education in order to have calculated leverage of skilled demographic dividend that is going to take the education in Bangladesh. Currently, the nation is revamping training and skill to develop the nation. We need the education to support a modernized economy. Digitalization and orientation to skills and technologies is the way to achieve the vision of a trained workforce”.
Mr. Kazi Habib, Director, Checkmate spoke on the career opportunities in the medical field and highlighted recent trends among Indian students regarding their academic choices. The medical field is a highly sought-after career option and the most popular trend among Indian students has been either their country otherwise to choose from some foreign countries like Bangladesh, Russia, Ukraine to name a few. Especially Bangladesh as a neighboring nation with its similarity in multiple factors has been most popular amongst the students. The global pandemic and recent lifestyle have brought forward the need for different emerging medical specializations namely speech and audio therapy for children etc. Students should carefully choose their specialization as per their capacity and informed knowledge of the whole academic and professional aspect of said specialization.
Professor Ujjwal K. Choudhury, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Adamas University, focused on NEP. In the coming new era of education degree centricity of the universities will reduce its importance and life skill centricity, with technical skills will be the focus. Application of knowledge and being a digital person moving ahead, with project-based learning, along with the Brick and mortar system, that is learning in the classroom, Click and Portal system, that is learning digitally, experiential system, that is learning practices should be the focus.
Mr. Sameer Ahmed Siddiqui, Academy of Life in Futuristic Sciences exemplified how the new emerging technologies have in a way reshaped the human perception of their own tendency to evolve individual capacity. Innovation has been a very common occurrence for humans to adapt and absorb each innovation and develop. These emerging technologies have given humans the nudge to reconstruct the education framework that trains, mentors students’ minds to umpteenth new possibilities rather than just the memorization of something that is only before them. “Every stakeholder in the academic ecosystem needs to identify their own roles and contribute to creating an environment that thrusts students to discover, understand, and evolve beyond their present capacity”.
Mr. Shahadat Hossain, Joint District & Session Judge, Bangladesh Judicial Service, Bangladesh talked about the policy appointment of the teacher. A teacher should have very good presentation skills and the capability to show the path of knowledge and skills to the students to achieve excellence in education. Secondly, government policy in education is very important. Government should consider the budget for education and invest in research and education more.
Dr. Jyotsna Yagnik, Arbitrator, and Educator in Laws, Director Yagnik’s Law Academy for examination of Judiciary, focused on the rule of law. Students aspiring to have a career at the international level in law are learning ADR, which involves understanding basic conceptual clarity, a relatively easy task for them. One more career option available at the international level is a job at MNC, and thus there is a requirement of people who thoroughly understands not only the market strategies, or need of market or profit performance but they should also know the laws which govern the business or the activities being run by the MNC’s, another option that is available at international level is joining, opening or running an NGO, which generally serves international causes wherein it is important the interest at the international level of a layman of societies are taken care of.
Another most important career in Journalism, which is the fourth pillar of democracy, but it also has to know the basic concepts of law, human rights, the duty of an individual, duty of an individual to society, duty of a society to an individual and this could be an international level career. Another important career at the international level is writing law books.
Mr. Atul Singh, Vice President, CSR of Emami Group speaking on the occasion said, “Although the world is very much fast-paced and dynamics are reshaping themselves very fast the only way to gain a solid foothold as a professional is to constantly reorganize, adapting and rebuilding oneself to be able to relate to time, knowledge and skills. Time and technology are changing and we should readjust our mindsets to facilitate dignity of labor as well that might open a plethora of new opportunities for all”.
Mr. Anil Keshary Shah, CEO, Nabil Bank, Nepal, a person with three decades in the finance sector gave an insider’s view of the inner workings of the finance sector. The finance sector is the heart of any economy and very crucial for the South Asian region as the reason has been gearing for economic transformation as finance breathes life to this collective vision. For all the predominant narrative of numerical aptitude building a career and professional foothold in the finance sector is only a one-sided fact, it is the foundation as finance is not only about numbers but integrates service and technology to function. The aspirants must focus on complete development enhancing their attitude, aptitude, and skills. This global pandemic has enforced the dominance of technology over many other factors also in a way neutralized the field for new possibilities and a favorable time for people with drive and genuine interest to curve their own mark. Mr. Manish Jain, Co-founder of Swaraj University & Shikshander Andolan, started by saying that regardless of all the crises there is always an opportunity for all of us to rise up and face these challenges and brings a livelihood career.
Mr. MD Jaheruddin, Chairman of Bangalore Animation College, focused mainly on careers in animation where he says that there are huge options in animation and students can take specializations preferably. “This is a field where our country is earning a lot of foreign money, and the government is also giving a keen focus in this particular sector so that the new generation should be ready rather than being trained to be future-ready. And if we train and give prime focus in this field we will excel more than we are excelling now”.
Ms. Malini S, Chairman & Managing Director, Synergy Images, schools are integrating technology at all levels. At this point in time, there are a lot of opportunities for students to take it up as their career and become online performers and there are plenty of professions available in this digital phase. “Going forward we should see online education a little more serious after the pandemic and thus we will be able to see a lot more options”.
Mr. Nihal Pradeep, Entrepreneur, Dartle, ended the event by giving a brief idea about career opportunities in sports and started with an interactive session with the students. His sports company offers students opportunities to try to create visibility by bringing a new model where every student will be given a career and for that, we have created a new assessment model. It offers participatory sporting opportunities.
Mr. Akram Hoque, Founder-Editor of The Policy Times added that in light of the discussed changes and challenges there are comparably even more opportunities for everyone only perseverance and hard work can lead us to success.
Having an excellent array of speakers who enlightened the students to choose their careers wisely, we at The Policy Times aim to help each other and develop our nation’s education system more firmly.