× Home About us Agenda Upcoming Events Past Events Blog Contact us





School 4.0


'If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near‘
~ Jack Welch
“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
~ John Dewey
“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”
~ Steve Jobs

The World Economic Forum in 2016 announced to the world that building on the global phenomenon of Industry 4.0, India and the world are in the midst of the fourth Industrial Revolution. This revolution is profoundly transforming the way we live, work, teach and learn. The scope, reach and impact of this revolution will be of hitherto unanticipated proportions, and K-12 education will be impacted at its very roots.

The exhibit below provides an overview of the four major industrial revolutions which have shaped the last 300 years of mankind.

Exhibit: The Four Industrial Revolutions

As per the World Bank Report of January, 2017:

1. 4.4 out of 7.5 billion people have never been online

2. Almost 2 billion people are untouched by digital technologies

3. 400 million people live outside the mobile cellular signal range

We believe that all of this is going to change with Industry 4.0’s trickle-down effect. A majority of these people will get connected and come online. This will result in creation of new kinds of jobs requiring a very different kind of skill-sets. Our schools will need to be unbundled and reimagined to help them create the leaders of tomorrow.
Globally, the way education is being imparted is undergoing a profound change. In the future, schools will no longer be physical buildings holding knowledge within themselves, but intuitive spaces where knowledge is created. Teachers will no longer impart information, but assume the role of facilitators for students driving their own learning. And students will no longer be the passive recipients of education, but collaborators, fully immersed in solving real world problems that appeal to them, as compared to following a predefined curriculum. India needs to come closer to the rest of the world in adopting these practices and pioneering some of its own. The following exhibit provides an overview of the School Education Infrastructure in India:

Exhibit: Indian K-12 School Education Infrastructure

Evolution of School Education

Education in India has a rich and interesting history. It is believed that in the ancient days, education was imparted orally by the sages and scholars and was restricted only for the elite class. Schools 1.0 followed a highly personalised learning model which was not scalable. Therefore, there was a need to develop an assembly line education model.
To overcome the shortcomings of Schools 1.0, an assembly-line driven education system emerged. Schools 2.0 were mainly brick and mortar institutions, catering to the growing needs of industrial revolution. Although this model was scalable, its teaching methodology lacked the personalized approach and was devoid of technology.
Later, Europeans brought western education to colonial India and by the end of the British era the traditional education system had been rendered almost entirely redundant. It was replaced by formal schooling. The latter half of 20th century witnessed revolutionary changes in education sector with the introduction of IT labs and smart class in the Schools 3.0. More emphasis began to be laid on holistic development, and experiential learning became the key trend.

Exhibit: Evolution of Schools

In the 21st century, schools are moving towards collaborative experiential learning in seamless learning areas. The focus is on “phenomenon-based” teaching – a move away from “subjects” and topics being taught through an inter-disciplinary approach. Schools 4.0 focus on making students industry-ready by providing value-added curriculum. Learning in these schools is driven by students with innovative pedagogy. The delivery model is defined by students, with teachers acting as facilitators in the entire learning process. Countries like Finland have already started advancing in this direction, with an increasing focus on phenomenon based learning.

Vision for School 4.0

There is a need to redesign teaching and learning by using multi-disciplinary, phenomenon-based teaching and learning methods in the school curriculum. Under this, students initiate the learning process and define their own pedagogy. Teachers act as mentors and facilitate the learning of students. This methodology enables students to become active learners and makes them self-disciplined. By imparting value-added curriculum, the aim of futuristic schools is to make students industry-ready from the initial stages of learning.

Exhibit: Guiding Themes for School 4.0

In line with the vision for futuristic schools, Schools 4.0 would focus on adopting technology enabled platforms where educators can provide personalised learning environments for the students. Learning would take place everywhere rather than just the traditionally enclosed classrooms.

Exhibit: Learner Profile of School 4.0

For achieving holistic development of students, there is a need for not just technology driven schooling system, but it is very important that value based education is incorporated into the syllabus so that students learn values at every step of their schooling. Also, there is a need to combine vocational and skill based education in the school curriculum so as to align the student skills with the changing environment and industrial needs.

By the year 2030, we believe that the issue of access to education will be completely replaced by quality of education. Set against such a backdrop, schools also need to adopt revolutionary practices instead of incremental improvements in terms of preparing the next generation for purpose-filled lives. Only those schools will flourish, which focus on catalysing pedagogical enhancements, capacity building for knowledge networks, and inculcating a culture of informed citizenship. Integrating these concepts with the traditional values embedded in the Indian education system, Swabhava and Swadharma, will equip the Indian schooling system with the pedagogical standards and culture required for students to deal with the ramifications of School 4.0.

By Aurobindo Saxena
Vice President – Education, Technopak Advisors