How Edtech Firms Can Thrive In India With The Help Of Education 2.0
By: Abhinav Mital, Co-Founder, The WorldGrad
The COVID-19 outbreak battered the education sector worldwide. The pandemic forced the sector to strip its conventional teaching strategies and adopt new technologies and concepts like Education 2.0. When the schools and colleges were left fidgeting on how to adapt to Education 2.0, EdTech platforms came to their rescue with their innovative services. As a result, the Edtech industry suddenly witnessed a boom in its business. This could be understood by the fact that 800 news Edtech companies were launched in 2020 alone.
This article explores the correlation between Education 2.0 and the Edtech industry and how Education 2.0 will help EdTech firms to thrive in the Indian market.
For laymen, Education 2.0 integrates e-learning into the conventional teaching system (Education 1.0), which was traditionally a one way process.
Education 1.0 is a teacher-oriented method with less focus on students' interests. In contrast, Education 2.0 targets the students' interests and emphasizes teacher student interactions, student-to-student, and student-to-expert interactions. Education 2.0 incorporates cooperative learning, using technology like skype, sharing wikis and blogs for a better understanding of the subject, and using social networking in virtual classrooms. In Education 1.0, students were passive learners, whereas, in Education 2.0, students were active participants in the learning process. The students, through Education 2.0, have a better understanding of technical aspects like making presentations, using various EdTech platforms to collect study material, etc.
EdTech firms integrating Education 2.0
EdTech was first introduced in India around 2001 with the concepts of smart classrooms and satellite-based education, a nascent step in integrating Education 2.0. However, between 2014 and 2019, India witnessed the launch of nearly 4,500 EdTech startup companies, thus marking a new chapter in the EdTech space.
However, its importance was recognized only when EdTech platforms started providing uninterrupted education, given the country's consecutive lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions thereafter. EdTech firms earlier had their respective strategies to impart education. But, when they collaborated with schools and colleges, they had to ingrain Education 2.0 in its strategies like incorporating the traditional and digital tools for the convenience of both teachers and students.
Pricewater house Coopers and the Confederation of Indian Industry's report indicate that students, teachers, and parents are happy with this new education style and are stirred by the benefits like flexible timings and customized study material that EdTech platforms offer. As a result, India's EdTech market is predicted to grow at an approximate CAGR of 30% by 2025 to earn $10.4 billion.
EdTech platforms have also been crucial for international students who had to engage in study abroad from home mode due to the pandemic. With EdTech platforms like World Grad, the e-learning concept through Education 2.0 mode helped these study abroad students to finish their international studies from the confines of their homes.
Government initiatives for e-learning and Edtech
Digital education is promoted heavily in the National Education Policy (2020). The Government of India also constituted the National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) in the Union Budget 2021-2022, which aims to strengthen the digital infrastructure. The Government also introduced the PM eVidya scheme making e-learning accessible to more students and teachers. Apart from these, the Government also launched SWAYAM, DIKSHA portal, SWAYAM Prabha, ePathshala portal, Nishtha, etc., to help EdTech smoothly integrate into the education system.
Further, the Government also eased regulations on online education in 2020 and allowed universities to extend 20% of their degrees online. With the help of EdTech, Government now has a better reach to rural areas like the `Teach for India' and `iTeach Schools' campaigns in a joint venture with Esper that targeted the rural children.
Along with this, the Government of India is planning to frame an EdTech policy to monitor and regulate the Edtech platforms. Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan shared this information during a program organized by AICTE earlier this year.
Future of EdTech firms in India
A Blume Ventures report claims that the EdTech market will strike a $4 billion mark by 2025 against the $750 million growth in 2020. Whereas Redseer, a market research firm, claims the growth number to be $5 billion by 2025. Additionally, among the 100 unicorns that India has, six are from the EdTech space.
With online education predicted to grow to $11.6 billion by 2026, the EdTech platforms will surely witness a surge in their growth. EdTech firms' innovative products like online courses, digital tools and services, gamification to make learning fun and interesting, and courses to up-skill industry professionals will further boost the industry. The collaboration of reputed institutes like IIMs with online service providers for online and blended courses is again proof that EdTech is here to stay, and so are the Edtech firms.
Although traditional classroom learning will gain impetus with the reopening of schools and colleges, EdTech will shine in 2022 and beyond. EdTech has impacted the teaching methods, and it will soon be ingrained in conventional methods with concepts like Education 2.0.
The growing figures, better integration of Education 2.0, and capability to empower youth with industry-driven skills all testify that EdTech firms are sure to thrive in India.