As I reflect on my time in India, I have an overwhelming sense that my empathy bucket has runneth over. It is not that I don’t care, I do deeply. It is that after a 10 days being immersed in the culture, I no longer am able to fully categorize and process what I saw in the days leading up to my departure. Blogging stopped from all delegates, including me — we simply were tired and overwhelmed with all that we had taken in.
The last few days were spent at private schools where more resources were available. Students wore neatly pressed, brightly colored uniforms and had tech from robotics to PCs to Raspberry Pies (single chip computer).
I’m feeling fortunate to have had this experience and opportunity to learn about India’s educational system from the public schools to private schools.
I also feel honored to have been able to address 200+ educators on the digital divide at a conference. A key take away for me is that the digital divide, although far greater in India than America, is the same for any individual child caught it in. It does not matter if you are in India, America, or someplace else in the world — if you don’t have access to the internet then you are at an educational disadvantage leading to many not fully participating in the digital/online economy. This has profound implications for any nation that has a portion of its population not engage in the economy.
I’ll leave this blog by saying, with all the challenges we saw in India, the students are resilient, engaged, and want to learn. Plan B for when tech failed was always on the educators minds, not using it as an excuse but for a way to be creative when internet or power dropped. The human spirit and soul are alive, strong, and will take India’s next generation into the future with new skills and techniques. It may take a couple generations but India is on the way to having a mostly educated society like much of the developed world.
Here’s to India and the strides they have made to educate their people.