A couple of years ago visualizing a proper physical classroom was possible with teachers teaching the students in a classroom. However, after early 2020, the scenario changed when the pandemic engulfed the entire world and now we are talking about online classes and online education. The teaching is the same but the medium is different. Thanks to the internet, it is possible to converse from miles away. When the pandemic first started, no one thought that it could drag for so many months. The physical classes which were suspended for a few months have now been shifted to online classes and it looks like a permanent shift and the same is visible from one billion USD worth of investment in the Indian edtech companies just between March and September 2020.
Impact of Covid-19 On Education Sector
When the Covid-19 pandemic first struck the word, no one had any clue that the pandemic would become so widespread and that it would last for so long. Perhaps, this is the reason why the immediate shift towards online teaching did not happen. However, with the passage of time as it was realized that the Covid pandemic won’t be leaving any time soon, the focus shifted to online learning. Online learning became important as prolonged delay of the learning affected the children in many ways from affecting their mental health to reducing their chances in getting good Government Jobs.
The shift from offline teaching to online teaching resulted in a huge growth of Edtech companies and online education in India. The interesting fact is that the growth trajectory was still high even during the pandemic but the pandemic did act as a catalyst for further growth. According to a report published by NASSCOM, Edtech companies of India saw a 50% growth by October 2020 in their viewership. Students are not only using online education for school learning but also for government exams, to see their name in the Sarkari Result. Last year, between March and September 2020, the Indian edtech industry managed to receive more than one billion USD worth of investment.
How Relevant is Online Education?
In the initial stage of Covid, not many were ready for the digital switch. The students kept waiting for a response from the government and education institutions. However, as time went by, the students had no other option but to shift to online education for completing their curriculum. Platforms like Zoom and Google Meet, not only became popular for corporate professionals but also for the students. When needed, thankfully online education stepped up at the right time and the current situation is as such that it has become the norm. Two years have passed and the end of the pandemic is nowhere to be seen and the students and teachers have now become completely comfortable with online education.
Other than the school, the online education that is offered by edtech startups have also played a pivotal role. For instance, it allows the child to study at their own pace and in addition to that, they also have the option of curriculum personalization. Both of these important characteristics are missing in the offline learning system. Also, this makes it possible for the children to study from the home in a convenient manner. Further, many online education platforms make it possible for students to track their records very closely. The student also has the freedom to repeat and watch a single video lesson as many times as they want. Breaking the geographical boundaries of education, online learning is helping students from around the globe.
Online education comes with multi-faceted benefits. In addition to teaching at their very own pace, online education is here to stay for a very long time. For the survival of learning, online education has become a huge part of the life of students. No matter whether lockdown is forced or not, one can now carry on their education right from their home. Even though online education has helped students from around the country to carry on their learning, it needs to be noted that it has even highlighted the pain of the digital divide. Not everyone can afford a smartphone and an internet connection for digital learning and this accessibility issue is something that the government should address for the benefit of the youth.