The position of India globally at this point of time is something the education sector can take advantage of, feels educationist Amreesh Chandra, adding that the number of international students who want to come to India for internships has gone up due to ‘brand India’.
The education sector faces a lot of challenges in India. Speaking exclusively to IndianExpress.com, the edu-preneur elaborated upon how the education sector in the country can be developed.
Talking about the problems the education sector in India goes through, Chandra said, “Education in the country is looked at as an ‘industry’. This needs to change. It needs to be looked at from a charitable perspective and not a commercial perspective,” he said.
Elaborating further, he said that when we talk about education infrastructure, there are two kinds – physical infrastructure and academic infrastructure, which includes teaching, curriculum, faculty, etc.
Physical infrastructure is connected to investment. He says that for education in India, it is difficult by and large, to get funding from banks; there is a regulatory aspect as well. “We have sub economic zones for every district and state. The same way, we can have education economic zones (in every state) where loans to set up educational infrastructure would get various subsidies, which will encourage people to invest in education,” he said.
The second aspect of academic infrastructure is the resources that manage education. “While we talk about improving the number of IITs and IIMs, we need to look at how to increase the number of institutes offering qualification for teachers as well. We need to have teacher training colleges at par with these,” he said, adding that there is a great need to impart soft skills such as communication skills to teachers.
The recent surge in offbeat professions and non-traditional career paths has had a deep impact on the education sector in India as well as the world over. Chandra said that a wider gamut of professional choices is being offered now.
“For example, there are more people wanting to become chefs, for which we now have culinary colleges or even hospitality colleges,” he said.
Trustee and executive principal of St Paul’s School, Chandra feels that for India to be looked at as an educational destination, the country needs to have international educational institutions. He elaborated that the country needs to develop institutions of world-class quality to attract foreign students as well keep local students from migrating abroad for higher studies.
The number of students heading abroad for higher education is much more than the number of foreign students coming to India. Chandra felt that the reason for this is that an individual’s university experience is not limited to academics alone. It involves a holistic experience and overall development as well.
“The QCF quotient is so high in international campuses that it gives the students a great quality of basic exposure which we need to give to our students as well by building world class universities,” he said, giving the example of the number of school students going abroad for education having dropped due to international schools mushrooming in the country.
The second Indian after Jawaharlal Nehru to be conferred the Honorary title ‘Freeman to the City of London’, for his contribution to the development of global education, Chandra is an ‘edu-preneur’ who has promoted India as a premier educational destination.
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