India is currently the home to one of the world’s largest youngster population in the age group of 5 to 24 years, amounting to a total of about 500 million, as per the IBEF report. Furthermore, as per the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the country will continue to have the youngest population until 2030 with the largest set of adolescents and youth until 2025. Despite the huge numbers, the Indian youth faces several challenges, like quality education, employment opportunities, vocational and skill development training, gender disparity, and brain drain.
This highlights the huge potential for a robust and futuristic support ecosystem that can help empower this population with the necessary education and skill development opportunities. While India is already ranked as the second-largest market for e-learning after the US, a definitive focus to integrate e-learning into mainstream education is missing. Although government initiatives like Digital India and Skill India aim to bridge the gap between traditional and online education, an efficient PPP approach is vital to create an efficient education system that can help empower the youth.
As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments, businesses, and individuals to adopt digital practices in the time of social distancing and quarantine, students, policymakers and parents are waking up to the need for digital learning solutions. Some key steps that can help to make this a success, include:
- Creation of a task force for education: Synonymous with reviving the economy, a task force for education has become the need of the hour. Led by the central government, effective education policy should be drafted in collaboration with Edu-tech companies, school management services, academicians, entrepreneurs, and state functionaries.
- A PPP task force for E-Learning: There are currently several e-learning start-ups that are working closely with schools in urban and rural India, providing innovative student engagement platforms like STEM, and STEAM learning, robotics, etc. These can be integrated into the Public-Private partnership format to create a uniform curriculum across schools and colleges, making it a more organized process.
- Integration of e-learning across education boards: Creating an integrated curriculum across education boards that can be accessed across online and in-class formats would further help create a seamless education infrastructure that can be impactful and accessible.
Considering the current circumstances, it is essential for the government to work in collaboration with online learning platforms in the future which will not paralyze the education system amid grave situations. This will further help bridge the gaps and facilitate impactful learning.