The Indian education system has a rich past and present but also faces numerous challenges. The recent National Education Policy is a step towards addressing these challenges and bringing about positive changes in the system.
India has a rich history of education dating back to ancient times when education was imparted in Gurukuls, and Buddhist education systems flourished. Since independence, the country has made great stride, in education, with the establishment of new universities and institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the education system, leading to a rapid shift toward digital education. Despite progress, challenges such as outdated curriculum and unequal accessibility persist, but recent years have shown promising recovery with the support of reputed universities and colleges.
Despite past obstacles in higher education, recent calls for reform could lead to significant change. Greater accountability and openness are two of the demands that are being made, and these are likely to have far-reaching consequences. Educational institutions and policymakers must consider the significance of higher education, the role of new millennium colleges and universities, and scientific research on how people develop. Moreover, it is necessary to establish a new wave of institutions.
The online education market in India is expected to grow by US$ 2.28 billion during 2021-2025, with a CAGR of almost 20%. The E-learning market in India grew by 19.02% in 2021. E-learning has brought significant changes to the education system and opened up new possibilities in India. It is reaching a diverse audience and overcoming the scarcity of competent teachers in rural and semi-urban India with rich and varied content.
Many institutions and universities are designing and conducting their courses online, providing certification. The E-learning setup is continuously growing in the country, and NEP 2020 has largely focused on the opportunities offered by this technological revolution in education.
E-learning is cost-effective and convenient. However, a significant digital divide still exists, which needs to be bridged as the earliest. The NEP has been a buzz. It brings immense hope and promised modifications. However, there are several challenges that must be overcome, such as:
Moral issues: The younger generation is less interested in helping their country and more interested in merely accepting a job with a generous salary. The rapid advancement of science and technology has endangered our traditional morals and values. The result is a failing value system, which has led to the discontent and uprising of the younger generation. The NEP promises to offer a more value-added experience.
Digital infrastructure: The Digital India Campaign and NEP 2020 must be merged to achieve the objectives of having 'Smart Education' in India. The idea is to eliminate the digital divide by recognizing the advantages of technological advancements and recognizing the potential risks and dangers associated with them. NEP 2020 highlights investment needs in creating an 'open public digital infrastructure', used and operated by multiple platforms and point solutions to cater to India's diverse population.
Disadvantages of E-learning: Although E-learning has brought many positive changes, there are certain disadvantages as well. For example, most online students may not accurately identify their learning needs, attributes, and weaknesses because there is no direct interaction with teaching or other students. Some students log in to online lectures for the sake of attendance, but they are not attentive, and the learning is limited. The dropout ratio is higher in E-learning than in traditional education systems. Moreover, an E-learning education system may not provide an adequate balance between intellectual learning skills and community-building skills.
Online learning programs do not interest everyone, as many students do well in a traditional education system that encourages face-to-face interaction between teachers and students. The adoption of E-learning and its technology requires significant investments in faculty, time, money, electronic infrastructure, advanced software, costly devices, etc., which must be justified by administrators and management.
In conclusion, the Indian education system has a rich past and present but also faces numerous challenges. The recent National Education Policy is a step towards addressing these challenges and bringing about positive changes in the system. However, the successful implementation of the policy remains a crucial factor yet to unfold. With sustained efforts, innovative approaches, and effective execution, the Indian education system has the potential to provide equal opportunities for all and nurture the talents of the future generation.