Ali Sait, CEO, Tech Avant-Garde (TAG)
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended traditional education systems worldwide, forcing educators to rapidly adopt hybrid and online learning solutions. In India, the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) has provided the impetus to reimagine education, with the focus shifting towards a technology-driven, learner-centric approach. One of the most significant outcomes of the policy is the recognitionand promotion of hybrid learning, which combines online and offline modes of education. Hybrid education has the potential to bring about a major transformation in the way India approaches education, making it more accessible and inclusive.
Hybrid learning is a combination of synchronous, asynchronous, physical, and virtual learning. In this new model, the aim is to create deeply individualised, learner-centred experiences for students. The foundation of hybrid learning is made up of four pillars. These include the environment, the pedagogies used during the transfer of knowledge, the partnerships, and the efficient use of digital devices.
Hybrid education provides a flexible and inclusive learning environment, allowing students to learn at their own paceand in a manner that suits their learning styles. This is particularly important in a country like India, where manystudents face challenges like lack of access to educational resources, inadequate infrastructure, and long commutes to school.
The NEP 2020 recognizes the potential of hybrid education to address these challenges and has proposed a number of measures to promote it. The policy emphasizes the need for the development of digital infrastructure and the adoption of digital technologies in education. It also highlights the need for the creation of high-quality, digital educational resources that are accessible to all students. The policy proposes the creation of a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), which will be responsible for the development of these resources and for promoting the use of digital technologies in education.
Another important aspect of hybrid education is its potential to make education more inclusive. Hybrid education allows students from all over the country, regardless of their geographical location, to access high-quality education. This is particularly important in a country like India, where many students live in rural areas and have limited access to educational resources. Hybrid education can provide these students with access to high-quality educational materialand interactive online classes, enabling them to learn and develop their skills.