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Online Education

4 July 2020

Need of the hour

Objective – career, learning pedagogy, support beyond academics, i.e. nutrition (mid-day meals) and social, economic, and individual well-being of a student.

Aim- to bridge the Digital Divide

Challenge – the future of online education in India will depend on accommodating the large under-served population of this country.

The advent of online education has become a necessity, where the change in the current situation and returning to previous normalcy is of distant matter. Education as a whole is the driving factor for social, economic, basic development of an individual and its family. It provides the linkages to different sections in society. Though some big institutes in the country are planning to continue online classes for the new academic session, but it is not easy for government, university and colleges to operate digitally in a full fledge manner.

Digital Divide

According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India report, on the national level, fewer women (33 per cent) have access to internet compared to men (67 per cent), with rural areas experiencing more disparities (28-72) compared to urban areas (38-62). According to an NSS report (2017-18), only 23.8 per cent of Indian households had access to the internet. The number drops to 12.5% when we consider Indian households with students who have access to the internet. Quacquarelli Symonds (2020) reported that more than 50 per cent of the people with fixed broadband had a poor internet connection at home. Furthermore, about 3 per cent of people face cable cuts, 32 per cent have a signal problem, and 11.47% have power issues. While those who use mobile internet, about 40.2 per cent face poor connection, 3.2 per cent power issues, and 56.6 per cent face signal issues.

Opportunity

The edtech market that is currently ₹3,900 crores could be several times larger in a relatively short period of time, especially considering the majority of the population has yet to come online and the school-going population itself being over 250 million. The OECD estimates that over 421 million children are now being affected due to school closures in 39 countries worldwide. Currently, the Indian education system is going through the third wave (for its niche segment, not fully covered market) with the artificial intelligence (AI), deeptech and gamification coming into play. Several startups like Byjus, Vedantu, Unacademy, Toppr, Educational Initiatives, UpGrad and Lido Learning. Today, edtech is not about teaching from one textbook, but about making students learn better and grasp concepts through personalised lessons. India houses 430 million children in the age group of 0-18 years with a considerable number of students residing in rural areas. At the same time, digitisation of education can make it feasible for one teacher to deliver information remotely across various locations via virtual classroom.

Developing Pedagogy

Govt are trying to deliver the best possible methodology in order to deliver the online mode of education, covering all the sections of the society. For e.g.: the Higher Secondary Education Board of Odisha Govt has decided

With proper adoption of the established digital infrastructure, Online Education can be deployed in a big scale in future.

Prateek Bebortha SAATRA Capital Picture Courtesy pxfuel

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