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THE WEEK|September 19, 2021
Technology can break the shackles of our education system
MOHANDAS PAI

The pandemic has wrought unprecedented changes in society. We are in the midst of the greatest change ever in the last 25 to 30 years. During the pandemic, 50 to 60 per cent of the population went online for education, banking, goods and services, entertainment, and medical advice. The key thing is, how will things settle down? What percentage of work, for example, will be from home? I think, ultimately, there will be a hybrid model.

There will be greater globalisation because people from different parts of the world will be able to work together; technology allows that. Cheaper and better jobs will shift from developed to developing countries. There will be new business models. Increased outsourcing will mean that several businesses will shrink, with more contract employment companies coming up. With digital signatures and email documentation becoming prevalent, no one will go to banks anymore. Electric vehicles and autonomous cars will become more popular. Holiday homes will come up.

When it comes to education, the pandemic changed the way it is delivered globally. In many places, during the lockdown, people shifted to online education using technology which they had probably never used before. Many children were forced to buy gadgets. The educated and lower-middle classes were able to make the shift because they had a smartphone or laptop, or tablet. The poor were left out because they did not have access to the gadgets or the internet.

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