The pandemic led to a shift in the education sector and gave a great opportunity for start-ups to bring a change
India is a country with more than 1.3 billion people. It is the second most populated country in the world with a fast-growing and influential economy. With more than 50 per cent of its population under the age of 25 (more than 500 million) and more than 65 per cent of its population under 35, India bestows a great opportunity for the education sector.
While India features prominently in the global education system, it was also ranked 26th in the world, in the QS Higher Education System Rankings in 2018. 12 Indian institutes made it to the top 100 list as per the QS world university rankings. Thus, there is still plenty of potential for more development in the education system.
People's Perspective in The Past
In the past, India was one of the countries where education was not given much priority. The baby boomers – the generation before millennials were not much concerned about education or getting themselves educated. That is because the perspective of the people then was more concerned about outcomes than education.
However, as years went by, people in the country noticed how education plays an important role in one's life. India has reserved education for girls in the past but has changed over the decade. Now, we have realised that there are a lot of opportunities for students to study and enroll themselves in their favourable field conveniently. We see a greater number of students going for higher education these days with a lot more to continue in the coming times.
Migration for Education
India had previously seen a lot of students migrating to foreign countries for higher education. But over the past few years, a lot of foreign students from the neighbouring countries have migrated to India for better education.
Growth of EdTech
With India being the second largest English-speaking nation, a lot of foreign educational products are launched in India every year. As the coronavirus pandemic spiked, the students and the teachers faced a lot of challenges but soon the world’s fastest-growing industry- educational technology (EdTech) was given much priority.
The E-learning tools hardware or software saw a spike in sales. The educational app downloads up- swung massively as compared to the month before Covid- 19. Education is the basis of economic growth and collective transformation. And Ed-tech amplifies the knowledge and ability of teachers, students as well as the education system as a whole. Software tools were developed for students' assessment with performance trackers and many other activities. This technology was introduced to teach the students through the online medium.
Start-ups in EdTech
The pandemic brought unrivalled changes in the education sector and gave a great opportunity for start-ups to find their chance to bring a change. The Education and Training Industry also acquired more start-ups and gained Investments for the same, as compared to 2019.
EdTech start-ups are working towards more engaging products; products considering the users learning ability and bringing about a positive change by making them personalised than ever before. Today, education is aided by technology. The Internet being affordable with strong bandwidths and the campaign called Digital India in hand has brought a massive surge in this industry. The government aims to ensure universal access to mobile phones, to facilitate people with high-speed internet, to bring electronic delivery of services, to provide online information and knowledge accessibility easy to all citizens through this campaign.
Gloom in the Industry
At present India ranks second in e-learning. India is also the world's third-largest higher secondary education system. Though there are a lot of positives in the industry there also is melancholy in this industry. 40 per cent of the country's population is still illiterate, out of them only 15 per cent of the students go to the next level of education. But these statistics could change as the government has announced various schemes and scholarships. Various social organisations have also aimed to educate the students from the rural areas of the country and the ones under the below poverty line.
The 2.8-billion-dollar industry is expected to grow by 38 per cent in the next few years. As start-ups bring more innovations, there are predictions to have more transformations. The education and training industry is going to boom shortly.
The author is Executive Director, Sanskriti University
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