Abhinav Mital, CoFounder, The WorldGrad
The WorldGrad is a technologically advanced study abroad platform. Abhinav is a graduate of the Indian School of Business (ISB) and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Delhi). Abhinav was a founding member and Partner of Parthenon-international EY’s education practise prior to founding LINC Education and The WorldGrad. He is currently a member of The Education Fund’s operations advisory board in Australia.
Life today is no less than a sci-fi movie for someone born in the 1980s. Technology has managed to integrate itself into almost every aspect of human civilization in a relatively short period of time, from leading the governance of countries to as simple as collecting data for vaccination and keeping us healthy and safe. Despite early predictions and limitations, technology has found a home in the hands of the vast majority of people today. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and can be used by anyone with no technical knowledge, including children who have only recently begun to speak! This scalability enables it to easily transition to any vertical and has proven to be a significant value add for Education.
The internet penetration rate in India is expected to exceed 55% by 2025, and the government is preparing for the digitization of various sectors, including education, which began with the introduction of the new education policy in 2020. It has been widely praised both in India and abroad. The NEP has changed the face of education in India. It has had an impact on India’s massive education sector, which is expected to exceed US$ 35.03 billion by 2025.
The government announced plans to establish an autonomous body, NETF (National Educational Technology Forum), to oversee the development of content and infrastructure, as well as to provide a platform for educational institutes and other stakeholders to share best practises for optimising the use of technology. This was created with the goal of bridging the country’s digital divide and ensuring a wider reach.
The COVID-19 pandemic is thought to have had a significant impact on NEP. All educational institutions were closed due to the virus, and when they were reopened for select batches, they were forced to close again due to an increase in the number of infections. Exams had to be cancelled, and students bore the brunt of the consequences. Many educational institutes switched to online teaching techniques; classes were held via applications such as Zoom and Google Meet, and evaluation was done online.
These improvised solutions were effective, but they had drawbacks that highlighted the need for a better solution.
We saw the failure of our traditional education system, on which we relied heavily, and recognised the need for educational reform.
While there are some disadvantages to online learning, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. It benefits both students and teachers because, aside from subjects that require hands-on knowledge, theoretical subjects can be completely taught online, teachers can record digital content or conduct a live class and publish it for all students, saving them a lot of time, and students can access these contents on-demand from anywhere at any time and connect with the teacher for clarification.
Except for IGNOU in India, all other universities were geographically constrained, but with the integration of technology, knowledge will know no bounds. The world has already witnessed the emergence of Tech-Integrated solutions such as ‘Virtual Universities,’ which require no physical infrastructure and rely entirely on remote staff with everything organised online.
When it comes to e-learning, language isn’t an issue because users can switch between languages such as Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, and so on.
Change the language of a movie you’re watching on Netflix, just like that! Given the aforementioned factors, e-learning has the potential to significantly reduce costs while also making education more accessible, as all information could be made available on any digital device with internet access.
Renowned international universities such as Griffith, Murdoch, and BUL (Brunel University London) have demonstrated a fantastic way for students to get the best of both worlds by introducing hybrid learning programmes that heavily rely on technology. Their programmes assist international students in obtaining a high-quality education while lowering the costs and other expenses associated with studying abroad. This was a significant advancement for traditional undergraduate and graduate courses that relied heavily on traditional class/teacher interactions. The hybrid learning model quickly enabled universities all over the world to cross boundaries and make their courses available to students.
While it is still in its early stages, Artificial Intelligence has played a significant role in improving students’ online learning experiences because it can help provide personalised education by analysing each student’s interests as well as their strengths and weaknesses to provide suggestions and educational content. “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing it is stupid,” as the saying goes.
AI technology will aid in the resolution of one of our educational system’s oldest issues, allowing students to discover and excel in their areas of strength.
The Indian Ministry of Education has already held a series of meetings with state education boards in order to integrate with NETF advisory. This action indicates that the government intends to implement technology-led learning beginning in elementary school. With the current infrastructure, it is clear that, similar to online classes, this will be delivered through third-party private companies, which is where the demand for EdTech plugins will increase.
While we are still a long way from perfect integration of education and technology in India, the future appears bright with proper execution. Covid 19 assisted us in understanding the benefits of integrating technology and education and what it can bring to the table.