Access to information ‘anytime, anywhere’ is becoming the defining mantra for educational digital learning solution providers in India. Traditional classroom teaching model has slowly metamorphosed into digital education learning platform, which is self-driven, ‘eduprenuerial’ and fast! – making India one of the biggest education markets in the world. Pupils well-versed with the likes of PlayStations and iPads, via digital learning, are making smart classroom environment more inclusive, participatory – and transforming the education system into an IT-enabled education system. However, resistance to change along with certain infrastructure challenges is hindering the growth of this market. But with digital ripples via Narendra Modi’s digital India dream initiative, India’s online education market is poised to grow to a $40 billion market by 2017.
Online learning or Live Virtual Classrooms (LVC) have opened new career avenues for young professionals who are driven to imbibe new skills – at the luxury and comfort of their own pace and time. With the evolution of technologies such as the Cloud, Data Centers & Virtualization, the digital education ecosystem that we forsee is not a distant reality. There is a growing affinity by Indian youth for new technologies and products such as tablets, notebooks, LMS and IWB, educational institutes, and schools as there is a huge potential for technology to be integrated into education industry. Trickling down to the K12 segment, number of rural schools and teachers are embracing the ‘self-learning’ teaching models, serving as a significant communication bridge between students and teachers.
On the corporate front, with a vision to make education more contextualized, relevant, edgy, and agile, there are quite a few companies that have carved their business imperatives on one common theme: to make education spreadable, reachable, offline and online, affordable, and relevant for today’s quick-witted students. Notable companies like Intel, Qualcomm, Datawind, Samsung, Tata are looking to leverage on digital India’s initiatives. Again, a recent case in point: Global computer chip-maker Intel is partnering several Indian states in their digitalization efforts with a focus on about 10 States. Intel’s blue print for Digital India is based on the three pillars of digital infrastructure, which includes data centre and Internet of Things (IoT), clients, devices services and importantly capacity building,. For creating 5 million digitally literate Indians by December 2015, Intel has created activity charts to make learning more relevant to rural areas and to provide app-based learning, which will serve as a blueprint for other corporates to follow-through on the digital learning initiatives – both on government and corporate level.
Today, teachers are not just giving lectures; they are facilitating an e-learning culture via embracing new age digital media technologies serving the education industry. The scope of instant interactivity – given that students are ‘mobility-driven’ and want information fast at the press of the button – is generating demand of tablets and offline pendrives, which serves meticulously as a repository of online course (chapter-wise), for entrepreneurs to come up with their ‘brainchild’ of learning systems to best serve the effervescent and fast-growing education industry in India.
The digital platforms, by a huge margin, strategically deal with the less innovative pedagogy styles and lack of teachers for specialized subjects – giving students the best e-learning experience and seeding an element of independency in their learning style.
On a more social front, the digital alternatives like Integrated Digital Interactive Classroom (IDIC), Content Management System (CMS) and Classpad can bring an element of reliability in students – making them more competitive in their respective courses. Against this backdrop, there is a huge potential for educators in India to leverage the missing link between teachers and their students – and bridge the digital divide with Classteacher.
India holds an important place in the global education industry. The country has more than 1.4 million schools with over 227 million students enrolled and more than 36,000 higher education institutes. India has one of the largest higher education systems in the world. However, there is still a lot of potential for further development in the education system.
India's online education market size is expected to touch US$ 40 billion by 2017. An RNCOS report titled, ‘Booming Distance Education Market Outlook 2018’ expects the distance education market in India to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 34 per cent during 2013-14 to 2017-18. Moreover, the aim of the government to raise its current gross enrolment ratio to 30 per cent by 2020 will also boost the growth of the distance education in India.
The Government of India is all set to roll out a new educational policy by 2015, according to Ms Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD), Government of India.Some of the other major initiatives taken by the Government of India are:
- Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi launched the Skill India initiative – ‘Kaushal Bharat, Kushal Bharat’. Under this initiative, the government has set itself a target of training 400 million citizens by 2022 that would enable them to find jobs. The initiatives launched include various programmes like: Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, Skill Loan scheme, and the National Skill Development Mission.
- PMKVY is the flagship program under the Skill India Initiative and it includes incentivising skill training by providing financial rewards on completion of training to the participants. Over the next year 2.4 million Indians are believed to be benefitted from this scheme.
- National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 is India’s first integrated program to develop skill and promote entrepreneurship simultaneously. The vision of this programme is to skill the Indian youth rapidly with high standards and at the same time promote entrepreneurship thus creating wealth and gainful employment for the citizens.
- The National Skill Development Mission is developed to expedite the implementation of skilling activities in India by providing robust institutional framework at the centre and the state.