Square Panda India has always been a big believer in the power of education, particularly early education. To further our cause of reimagining the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) landscape in India, we partnered with Times Network’s India Economic Conclave 2021 to Reform, Perform, and Transform India’s growth. The sessions were aired live across the Times Network on March 25th and 26th.
Day 2 of this thought-provoking conclave featured an illuminating opening discussion on education by the Minister of education himself, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal, following which Ashish Jhalani (Managing Director, Square Panda India), took centre stage to deliberate ‘Investing in Education’, with Vineet Nayar, the Founder of Sampark Foundation.
“With the pandemic causing a catastrophic learning loss (young children have fallen behind by almost a year), the fact that these children have also seen a worrying lack of development, particularly social development, showed our need to invest in digital education”, said Mr. Jhalani. He added that access to such tools could offset some of the learning deficit, and bring children back to schools, fully prepared to restart their education.
Mr. Nayar opined that India needs disruptive, inclusive innovation right now and reiterated the need to transform the social sector around education. He drew attention to key concerns about what children remember when they start school again, whether they will have an interest in education, and pondered if we will even reach pre-pandemic enrollment numbers.
Both speakers made strong cases for Public-Private Partnerships at the ground level to bring in much-needed accessibility and inclusivity, with Mr. Nayar saying, “Unless capital is invested, education will not transform.”
Mr. Jhalani stated the need to leverage private Edtech organisations to create a holistic learning environment, saying “My request to the government is to involve innovative, research-based private players early on so that our nation can execute the NEP rapidly”.
He went on to state that the knowledge and expertise such players bring to the table are immeasurable, and that they can help immediately start executing the NEP 2020 vision as envisioned by the policy.
Mr. Jhalani concluded by emphasising how any tool is only as good as the ones who wield them. In saying so, he directed attention towards the need for teacher training and Anganwadi worker upskilling, to help them develop 21st-century skills, and make the next decade one on which India leaves an indelible imprint.
Watch the entire session here.
Learn more about Square Panda India and our innovative early learning initiative, Aarambh, at ecce.squarepanda.in