Covid-19 has dealt every industry a hefty blow but when it came to the edtech sector it enhanced the learning process. Not just students and educators benefitted from this but also investors and edtech start-ups. As per research, the year prior to the pandemic witnessed massive growth and adoption in ed-tech with global investments touching $15 Bn in 2019.
The pandemic has had lasting effects in the higher education field as well, which is a significant factor of a country’s economic future. A sizable number of Indian students, trailing behind China, enrol in universities abroad. Many of such students have been barred from leaving these countries. If this is the case, long term, a shortfall in the demand for international higher education will be imminent.
The more worrying aspect is the effect of this malaise on the employment rate. The current situation has led to corporates withdrawing their job offers. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy estimated that the employment rate shot up from 8.4% during mid-March to 23% in April and the urban employment rate skyrocketed to 30.9%.
At its peak in mid-April, Covid-19 caused nationwide school shutdowns in 190 countries, having severe impact on 90% of total enrolled students, around 1.6 billion people globally.
While Covid-19 left its lasting impact on the education sector, the edtech space saw a lot of advancements. In the higher education sector, learners were provided with digital first academic support and accessibility, smart assessment and novel types of curriculum in specialised areas such as science, coding and languages.
Courtesy of remote learning, adult learning has gotten much easier as well, with increasing no of online courses from institutions, income models focused on study now, pay later or boot camps & workshops to help them get ready for a new profession.
Having spoke about how Covid-19 has turned the education sector on its head, below are some learnings we can adopt going forward:
Learning Must Continue
It is vital that the learning in government school and universities continue. Open sources digital learning solutions and Learning Management Systems should be adopted so professors can continue teaching online. Many private education institutions have adopted and been able to shift the learning online.
Education For All
One needs to focus on inclusive learning solutions specially for the marginalised sections. Internet Penetration is expected to reach 85% households by 2024 and that shows that tech is enabling ubiquitous access and personalization of education even in the most remote parts of a country. There are edtech platforms who have made courses in the domain of technology, management free and accessible to all. This is a great step towards upskilling the youth and bridging the employability gap in India.
Unified Learning Systems
To pave the way for the future it is important to re-establish the current pedagogical methods by seamlessly integrating classroom learning with e-learning and build a unified learning system. The biggest challenge in ed-tech at the national level is the integration of tech in the current Indian education system which is diverse and the largest with more than 15 lakh schools and 50K higher education institutions. It has been observed that many e-learning platforms offer multiple courses on similar subjects with different levels of methodology, certifications and assessment parameters
Interactivity And Engagement
Physical classrooms offer a high degree of interaction with the coach as well as among students. But now institutions and universities will have to be more flexible and take a blended learning approach. The onus will be on ed-tech platforms to bring the goods when it comes to learner engagement.
“In 2020 the edtech sector had a positive wave. Parents and students who were rigid towards choosing online learning have now adapted the system. Which is why edtech platforms are spending on technology to create personalized and data driven solutions.
For example, personalized live sessions, providing 1:1 solutions online based on career profiles, Predicting the employability based on performance of the student. This change is good and must be looked out for.” says Sumesh Nair, Co-founder, Board Infinity.
As we progress into a new era of learning, one has to realise the role of an educator. The role of an educator should not be limited to a person who possesses knowledge and imparts the same to learners. In the modern era, educators will have to facilitate learner’s development as contributing members of society. An edtech platform that puts this prime need at the forefront is Board Infinity.
They specialise in 1:1 coaching and mentorship and have a pool of over 1000+ top industry level coaches. You can pick a course that you want to pursue, select a coach and get started with your learning.
Training Of Mentors
The Covid-19 pandemic brought to light in some areas how ill-equipped the teachers of today are when it comes to delivering online sessions. Educators need to pull up their socks by upskilling and enhancing their capabilities as well. Training mentors will ensure they are equally able to teach online and offline modes.
While Covid-19 has posed many challenges, this disruption in order can be used to rethink how we educate and question what needs to be taught. This disruption can help define and pave the way for, what learning will look like to the future generations. Let’s look at the crisis as an opportunity to be a change agent for the education sector.