Education and the Future of Work – A Discussion with Himanshu Gupta, IAS (Secretary, CBSE)

In the discussion series on Future of Work conducted by Rishihood University and RIS New Delhi, we hosted Shri Himanshu Gupta, IAS and Secretary of CBSE where he discussed pivotal aspects of educational transformation in India.

About Himanshu Gupta: He is an alumnus of IIT Delhi and 2012 batch IAS officer of the AGMUT cadre.

About CBSE: With oversight of 4 crore students, 12 lakh teachers, and 30,000 schools, CBSE plays a significant role in shaping India’s educational landscape.

Here are the key takeaways from the discussion:

Igniting Lifelong Learning

The event noted the critical role of school education in fostering a spark in young minds, leading to lifelong learning. This approach is fundamental in preparing students for dynamic future challenges.

Beyond Literacy Rates

Highlighting the multifaceted nature of prosperity, Gupta stated, “Literacy rate is not the only indicator for the prosperity of a state. Economic policies and the labor market also play an important role.” This underscores the need for holistic development strategies.

Developing Empathetic Global Citizens

There was a stress on the importance of nurturing empathy and global citizenship in children. Teaching students to examine issues from both micro and macro perspectives, and preparing them to navigate a complex world is important. Proficiency in multiple languages, including foreign languages, can significantly enhance job prospects for Indian youth in the global market, especially in countries with aging populations.

Shifting Educational Priorities

Gupta called for a shift from rote learning to entrepreneurship and diverse careers. He highlighted the emerging domains of artificial intelligence, climate change, and energy transition to align with evolving job markets.

Holistic School Leadership

Effective school leadership is crucial. Principals should actively shape the academic vision, prioritize teacher training, and cultivate a culture of continuous learning within their institutions.

Addressing Systemic Challenges

The participants acknowledged the challenges in public education, including teacher shortages, infrastructure deficits, and budget limitations. People stressed the need for investment in primary education and improving teacher-student ratios, and encouraged collaboration with private entities to develop skill modules and implement flexible teacher recruitment processes, enhancing the quality and reach of education.

The event reflected a comprehensive approach to educational reform, aiming to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for a rapidly changing world.

About the Future of Work Series: Globally, one of the most important questions is what will be the future of work? Automation and population are seen to be in conflict. Can we create enough work that gives income and meaning to a growing population? What kinds of jobs will evolve? In which parts of the world will they come up? In which domains? How do we prepare the youth for such jobs? Will there be a need for reskilling and continuous learning? How should the industry enable this? Questions like this are taking center stage. Through the FoW series, Rishihood University is provoking the society to find and solve problems.

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