Obviously education is a high priority in the 11th Plan as an instrument for change in the times to come. Poised on the brink of a new world order formed out of the all pervasive presence of ICT in the workplace and in our day-to-day lives has taught us all the need for an ICT component in education going ahead.
Not just in a few areas, all segments of education in India are in various stages of consolidation and, or integration of technology. Where there is no access to technology, the answers are increasingly found in the technology itself. New vistas of possibility have also opened up in terms of the technology's inherent ability to reach far-flung rural areas and impact the entire teacher-learning experience.
The use of ICT has opened new ways of thinking and in many cases, cleared the path for the deployment of an education delivery system that meets almost all the requirements of instruction design, transfer of learning and even for monitoring the quality of the education imparted.
Classrooms are changing as we speak. Students across this great land of ours (and in fact, world over) are increasingly gaining vital exposure to ICT. These young learners, who earlier might never even have seen a computer in their classrooms, are intrigued by the possibilities and eventually delighted by their own hands-on experience on these new 'wonder' machines. This increasing visibility of ICT in education has been a natural outcome of the all-pervasive presence of ICT all around us.
With this 11th Five Year Plan, all our hopes, fears, expectations, consternation, plans, and eventual outcomes will progress a little further down the road to the future. When viewed in the light of the impeding budget looming in the background questions about the efficacy of the role ICT plays in education, what are the standards, measures and parameters for measuring the quality of education, the need for an all-encompassing vision for the future.
With a rapidly-growing number of strategies and proposals being continually made in every educational forum involving the main four stakeholder segments, namely, Government, private sector, civil society, and academia at the onset, as to how education with foresight can effectively improve their ability to educate and let educate; regardless of what might be, one thing is certain: We are all in it together.