By Vibhuti Taneja, Founder, EDcel Consulting
Challenges faced by schools in the present education system
The pandemic has intensified primary challenges faced by education sector in the areas of Quality and Access. Maintaining quality and standard of education has been an issue in general and with absence of classroom based learning this gap has been amplified over the last year. Most of the teachers are new to the concept of online teaching and are in need of teacher training program that is still missing; hence it has had a negative impact on quality of education. Infrastructure issue has affected the accessibility between teachers and students primarily because of limited resources as well; it has become harder to make education accessible to all segments of the society. One of the age old challenges has been the curriculum that is used at schools and colleges to teach students, its needs a major overhaul and include practical learning as much as possible compared to theoretical learning.
Trends in Online education and Ed-tech:
Covid-19 has catapulted us to adopt and improvise online learning in India at an increasingly faster rate than expected. Some of the trends we see in online learning are – Freemium model is driving traction because of access to free content on platform, Rise in video content consumption as student experience is better with video content and report higher level of satisfaction, Adaptive learning driven by data analytics is expected to evolve the online learning moving ahead.
The two trends that stand out in particular and will gain traction are:
Gamification: We are well aware that visualised learning is effective and retention is also better among the students. Gamification does exactly that, the content is developed in the form of games to make it interesting and engaging while capturing the interest of students to learn.
Blended learning approach: We can’t argue the fact that face-to-face learning is relatively better and effective than 100 percent online learning. Hence the concept of blended learning can be experimented with in the future where we take the best of both the worlds and create a unique and improved learning experience for students.
Rise of Ed-tech in India
We have witnessed a significant increase in the number of companies operating in the ed-tech space who are not only providing technology but also creating innovative content to make online learning interesting and affordable across all tiers of the society. Byju’s, WhiteHat Junior and Great Learning are some of the names that have made their presence felt off late. Investors are also funding these companies looking at the potential of education sector in India and the contribution these companies can make to it. This is only the beginning for Ed-Tech in India, there is immense room for improvement that will transpire in the years to come.
Impact of covid-19 on students:
School and Colleges have been shut for over a year now and students have been forced to stay at home. This is a drastic change for students and parents; while they have been trying to deal with the situation, it’s the students who have suffered immensely. Schools provide an environment to socialise with friends while learning and it’s an important factor that is missing now. Also schools provide opportunity to students to channelize their energy into extracurricular activities that keep them mentally fit. While schools and parents have been trying their best to keep the kids engaged with online learning and doing activities at home; the environment provided by schools is still missing. We have noticed a negative impact of this among some students who are finding it difficult to cope with the situation at the moment. Hence it’s important for both schools and parents to work together to create a conducive environment for kids at home that keeps them engaged and helps them channelize their energy in doing something they enjoy.