By Kirandeep Dham, CEO, Globus Infocom Pvt Ltd
Since the pandemic outbreak, sectors across India have seen maximum disruption, and the education system is no exception. Education today is no longer limited to “Pathshalas” or physical classrooms. The restrictions imposed at the time of the pandemic paved the way for the new era of modern pedagogy. As a result, virtual classrooms and e-learning have emerged to the fore.
Education in India has embraced digital adoption with technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Analytics increasingly marking their presence in the sector. The ecosystem in India is enabling a revolution in all major industries. Hence, the education system in India emerges with the industrial revolution.
The education system is focusing on creating an e-learning program due to increased consumer demand. According to a KPMG report, our country is the second largest e-learning market after the United States. The industry reached $1.96 billion last year and has over 9.6 million users. The recent National Education Policy (NEP) adopted in the last year of 2020 is testimony to this. It means the nation is heading in the right direction. With proper planning and execution, the electronically connected medium has the power to meet the four policy parameters of the NEP – equity of access, quality, accessibility and accountability.
Ushering in the new era of Ed-Tech in India
Ed-tech is the collaborative approach to education and technology – organizations leverage technology to curate high-quality, personalized learning experiences at an affordable price to make education more equitable and inclusive. Everything from the addictive app on your smartphone to the new normal classroom falls under the broad spectrum of ed-tech.
The rise of Ed-tech opportunities is attributed to three key functions:
Digital Services: The focus on large-scale digitization has led to the democratization of the Internet, allowing previously underserved groups to access digital services.
Growth of the Ed-tech industry: According to the IBEF report, India’s educational technology industry is expected to reach US$4 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of 39.77%. This growth is driven by the growing demand for non-academic Tier 2 and Tier 3 state courses and the need for customization in the ed-tech space. Of the $4 billion expected market value, $1.5 billion will focus on K-12, after-school foundations and pre-prep classes.
Educational system: The education system is one of the important pillars of the country. However, there are various concerns, including a shortage of trained instructors, a student-teacher ratio gap, and a lack of up-to-date and adaptable teaching methodologies, and this has long required technological support. Technology and ed-tech platforms have brought education closer to students in all regions; its adoption at the mass level remains a major challenge.
Challenges faced by Ed-tech in its mass adoption
Online Learning Acceptance
Before the pandemic, education was going to school/universities, sitting in front of a teacher and learning collaboratively with peers. However, the scenario has changed and online classrooms are the new normal. Students find it difficult to be as involved in online sessions as they were in traditional classrooms for a number of reasons, the main one being the preference for in-person instruction. Millennials and Generation Z are open to remote learning because of the convenience and flexibility the model offers. While other segments of the population are gradually adopting this method of learning. As a result, the acceptance of ed-tech is happening at a slow pace among the masses.
Poor internet availability
Poor internet connectivity and lack of technological infrastructure continue to be a big problem, especially in rural areas. For innovation-driven learning, broadband internet is indeed the most important factor. Even with the localization and personalization of educational content; online learning supported by ed-tech platforms remains a far-fetched dream.
The ed-tech sector faces its fair share of challenges. However, being resilient in its approach, the market is making concerted efforts to ensure its adoption and acceptance by the masses. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) report, the online education market is expected to reach US$11.6 billion by 2026 in India. This implies that the adoption of ed-tech platforms is booming and has the potential to transform the education sector. Additionally, countless Ed-tech platforms demonstrate their dedication in helping educational businesses create better futures and engaging experiences.
To summarize !
Although it is a tech-rich state, India will need to address aspects such as ensuring accessibility of education for all. In such a scenario, Ed-tech companies have developed new era technological solutions to create outstanding educational content while delivering premium educational experiences.
The educational technology industry faces various hurdles while reaching the masses. The market tackles various challenges including teacher training, monitoring, teaching at the appropriate level, and improving the performance of low performing academics among others. However, it is making concerted efforts to transform the Indian educational landscape.