The education system needs to be transformed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, set by the United Nations. UK-based Nisai Group chief executive, Dr Dhruv Patel, said this could be done with education technology.
“Education technology allows us to reach young people who are hard to reach and put learners in a central learning experience. “Traditionally, you have a teacher and a group of students. Technology allows you to personalise and differentiate the learning experience with good quality teachers,” he told the New Sunday Times at the Malaysian Booksellers Association earlier this month.
Patel said technology had enabled educators to take classrooms to children. “When we take classrooms to them, their parents will learn as well to improve their productivity and develop skills. “The rural-urban migration that sees people relocating to big cities stresses the need to formalise online learning so that youth can develop skills from where they are and remain in their communities.” He said for SDGs to achieve the 2030 target, education transformation needed to take place. “We are talking about marginalised groups, people in rural areas who are without literacy and therefore unable to get jobs and pursue vocational skills training.”
The SDGs are aimed at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. Patel said a cross-curricular approach in education was applicable in the 21st century. “It is all about project-based learning, covering creativity, critical and high-order thinking skills. These can’t be achieved by ‘silo education’ alone.”
Patel said online learning was ideal for students with special needs. He said Nisai Group recently signed a project agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE). In line with this, Nisai recently launched a six-to-10-week course dedicated to the research of SDGs, relating each goal to real-life situations. In the course, students will identify ways for the goals to correspond with each other and find out how they could impact lives.
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