Monday, December 22, 2008

Deeksha Symposium 2008

Press Note

Learning and Teaching 2.0 - Symposium Arranged by Deeksha Systems Pvt. Ltd.
Date: Dec. 20, 2008
Place: Season Hotel, Aundh, Pune

Deeksha System Pvt. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Uniken Inc., arranged a symposium on 'Learning & Teaching 2.0' at the Seasons Hotel, Aundh, Pune on Saturday, December 20.

The Objective of this symposium was to analyse the current education delivery model and discuss the next generation education delivery model.

The symposium was jointly chaired by eminent personalities in the field of Education. Prof. H.A. Rangnath (Director of NAAC), Prof. Rajasekharan Pillai (Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, Chairman of Distance Education Council), Dr. Ram Takawale (Formerly V.C. Pune University, YCMOU, IGNOU) were the main speakers for this event.

Director of Deeksha Systems, Nilesh Dhande focused on Role of Technology in Education, limitation of current educational system and solutions with respect to usage of technology. He proposed a delivery model - where the benefits of the traditional "gurukul" system are combined with the capacity for large scale delivery for the next generation delivery model.

Prof. Pillai, in his address discussed quality and quantity of education. He said "Enhancement of quantity will never be useful unless quality is addressed". After evaluating where our educational achievements stand today, he discussed the fact that one third of our population is deprived of educational facilities. Technology has to be effectively used to enhance both the quality and the quantity of education. He also stated that Discipline based ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has to take place in the right proportion to achieve better quality in Education spread. Significantly, Mr. Pillai, depicted the importance for integrating IT and Teachers' learning process, encouraging appropriate and enough usage of technology by teachers. However, he also highlighted the fact - "Technology cannot teach, only teachers can".

Prof. Rangnath, while presenting the current statistics of Educational Systems in India, spoke about Changing Ecology of Indian Higher Education System. A well documented data analysis with respect to the Educational Quality was helpful in putting forth his view point. He highlighted some of the challenges and concerns in the current education model with respect to education as a business, substandard infrastructure and the need for increased accessibility of education.

Prof. Rangnath insisted on Assessment and Certification of Primary Knowledge. "In view of Developing countries, assessment has to consider further enhancements for the betterment of the education system", he said. The need of knowledge has to be fulfilled through the effective usage of available technology. "Every child has to enjoy two parental relations - one at home with parents and the other in educational institutes with teachers", he concluded.

Dr. Ram Takawale, a well known educationist, touched various facets around education today. "Technology is to be used for modifications in learning and teaching process. It can not replace the teachers", he reminded in his speech. He insisted on not imposing the older methods, just for the sake of tradition.

Highlighting the important issue of “Business of Education”, he put forward the need of associating cultural values with services in the field of education and not focus only on money. Reminding the audience about the work of Mahatma Gandhi, he said that we have lost the creativity and pleasure in our work. According to Dr. Takawale, the Donor Model of IT enabled education is an inappropriate one. There should be room for Learners to participate in the creativity and enhancement of the education system. He insisted upon the importance of our Value System and raised a very thought provoking point - "Technology usage should not dehumanise the education delivery model".

Mr. Shwetank Upadhyaya, CEO Deeksha Systems, shared his thoughts at the end. For explaining the journey that Deeksha has opted, he talked about importance of building Knowledge Network, technology tools for Education today and what Deeksha has been doing.

Mr. Kapil Khangaonkar hosted the whole event. His way of presenting the event interspersed with his own experiences as a student was well received by the audience.

Mr. Ajay Dubey, Ex V.P. Infosys, Ex C.O.O. Persistent Systems and currently on the board of Uniken Inc. was present to welcome the chief guests at the symposium.

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