In the post-pandemic educational scenario, the experts are evaluating the modalities that could solve the problems like low learning outcomes, academic inequity, and lack of optimal assessment techniques, and sub-optimal levels of 21st-century skills. While research in these areas is warranted, it is equally important to have a grasp of the macro-trends which are sociocultural and sociopolitical in nature and are going to impact the policies related to the conceptualization and delivery of education in the times to come. In this article, we are discussing such trends.
The first socio-economic factor that is going to define the global approaches towards educational outcomes is Disparity in Wealth. The development of various arenas is afoot but what remains relatively stagnant is the social mobility of the deprived population and we see that the gap between the richest and the poorest nations and populations is widening. The inequity impacts the policies related to education and stagnates the national education policies of the developing countries. The compatibility of the international curriculums taken from the OECD countries with the national education scenes of the developing nations leaves much to be desired for.
The schools are the points where the equitable distribution of opportunities starts and if that position is compromised, the social dynamics are impacted adversely.
The second macro-trend that is seen as relevant to the global education industry is the Advent of the Asian Consumer. The Asian economies are on the rise, and although the Asian countries also grapple with the inequity of wealth among population groups, a sizeable section of the population in Asia is getting affluent and the aspirations in terms of education are rising proportionately. The resultant growth of the middle class in countries like China and India and the levels of education is shifting the dynamics as now the most skilled professionals are not from the developed world exclusively, but from developing countries instead.
The social mobile middle class from the Asian countries are demanding better educational opportunities and the schools are developing their capabilities as a result. This is leading to a faster rate of internationalization of education in the third world.
The third factor that is having a big impact on the educational ecosystems across the world is the changes in the Patterns and Intensity of Migration.
The most sought-after destinations in the world are the developed countries of Western Europe and North America, yet there is a definitive shift and the Asian countries are increasingly gaining immigrants. These changes bring about a significant measure of the demographic shift and will in the future impact the educational scenarios of the host countries. The shifts in education will also bring about socioeconomic and socio-cultural changes that will further accelerate the globalization of education.
Changing patterns of immigration also implies that the schools will be required to welcome international students and teachers and they will have to accommodate diverse cultural values in more visible and fundamental ways.
The next macro-trend relates to Finances. The schools will be pressed hard for funding and the national spending on education will have to increase, especially in developing countries. Higher education will have to be revamped in proportion to the aspirations of the populations and the nations as an increasing number of students will enter the universities. The family spending education will also increase as so will their vulnerability to economic shocks.
The technology and effects of its reintegrating the world and re-configuring the placement of power. Technology is turning shrinking the world, it connects the nations and the populations at an unprecedented rate. This enhances democratic participation but it also increases the volatility of the interconnected regions of the world. Technology tends to perpetuate a power concentration in the hands of the technocrats and those who control technology.
When views are influenced by algorithms it becomes harder for the avant-garde to break ground and in the environment which increasingly resembles an echo-chamber, it becomes challenging for the educational institutions to accommodate diverse ideas and viewpoints.
Artificial Intelligence is another area that will have an impact on education. that is almost a statement of the obvious given the currency and influence AI is gaining across the board, but it is to be pointed out as a distinct factor that is going to impact education and redefine its course definitively. The education system now is tasked with producing professionals who can use the AI and at the same time escape from its effects on their employability.
The challenge before the education systems around the world is to develop a human resource that is indispensable in the AI ecosystems, and that is quite a challenge, a race against time.
Life-long learning has to be a feature of the new education. it’s imperative as the job market changes by the day and schooling can only be a foundation for on-job learning. It is not going to be insurance against the vagaries of the market and the new leaders of the industry are going to be the ones who learn on their feet. We have the new professional timelines wherein the joining is early and retirement is late, life-long learning is the watchword. The situation gets even more complicated when we take into account that life-long jobs are no more the norm and people migrate from one profession to another much more frequently, again learning has to be perpetual.
The internet in education is changing the classrooms and flipped-classrooms are gaining currency. The online mode is here to stay and the teaching methodologies will change accordingly, and the pedagogies will adapt to the reality mitigated by virtuality.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.