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Insights from industry provided by Panworld Education
Puneet Dhawan, SVP - Sales at Panworld Education shares his insights from industry.
1) What edu-tech tools do you think become popular in the near future?
As we enter in to the advanced technology world of AI, ML and Virtual / Augmented reality, we believe this will have a strong influence on how learning takes place in today’s world. The last decade saw an influx of LMS, VLE and device based learning which should now move to the next phase of self-paced learning capabilities using new technologies. Interactive Digital content should continue to hold its place and grow even further with more institutions both across K-12 and Higher Education following the e-content route. We have been witnessing a consistent increase in demand from mainstream private as well as public institutions.
Inclusion of special needs children into mainstream education system is one important social initiative driven by governments all over the world. The Middle East is following route and in most countries, special emphasis is on implementing tools and techniques to improve learning abilities of such children. We bring specific product offerings available that demonstrate considerable improvement in such children and believe this is an equally important edu tool being adopted.
The need for preparing students across the board to take on real world challenges is pushing Institutions to adopt Project based learning approach. This is another noticeable trend where a considerable number of our customers are interested in.
In summary, the advancement in technology, increasing adoption and rise in acceptability (while minor rise but it is positive) is giving the push it needs for new age edu tools to take place over orthodox teaching methods.
2) What are the major challenges to nationwide adoption and implementation of educational technology in KSA?
The biggest challenge we notice is resistance to change. While the acceptance / adoption rates are rising, the pace is quite slow. The resistance usually is from the user community (mostly teachers) and rightly so due to most available education technology is not user friendly and difficult to comprehend. Lack of ICT infrastructure is a considerable challenge as well. KSA needs an integrated strategic approach towards ICT in education sector that covers key aspects like Infrastructure, Experts to identify right Educational tools, Training / Mentorship for teacher community and so on.
3) What educational sectors do you feel call for maximum investment support in the Kingdom?
KSA being the largest school market in the region, the K-12 sector calls for due attention and investment. With the number of students coming out of secondary schools every year, it puts equal amount of pressure on Higher Education Institutes and Universities to invest in accommodating the large population of students. KSA as per records ahs assigned an over $50 Billion in education budgets for the year which is the largest % age contribution to the total budget till date.
So investments in ICT covering K-12 and Higher Education should get a sizeable piece of this pie. Spending on Professional Development Initiatives and Skill enhancement for increased employability post education completion are other areas that need attention.
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