Helpful Pandemic: How COVID-19 Helped India Reimagine Education

Indian educational model

India has an important place in the global education industry. V

1.3 billion people live in the country, here the majority of the young population - about 500 million inhabitants from 5 to 24 years old. These are ideal conditions for the development of the educational sector.

In 2020 Indian education has changeddue to the authorities' new course towards greater flexibility and versatility. Now the school is divided into four stages: basic (from 3 to 8 years old), preparatory (from 8 to 11 years old), middle (from 11 to 14), second secondary (from 14 to 18 years old). Then you can go to a university, which does not even have to be completed: after the first year, students receive a certificate, after the second - a diploma, and after the third - a bachelor's degree.

In India, children face early profiling:already in the seventh grade, students enter specialized classes in order to better pass the qualifying exam. In government schools, the level of preparation for such tests is rather low, so parents are increasingly sending their children to private educational institutions. More than 120 million schoolchildren in India receive non-state education.

It is difficult to enter an Indian university right from school, so special EdTech startups appear that prepare the most talented children for exams.

Governmental support

The field of EdTech, which grew in India even beforepandemic COVID-19, thanks to the remote, received a huge influx of investment. All education has gone online, and the country has turned that to its advantage. There are now over 3,500 active startups in the EdTech industry in India.

India became the third largest in 2020e-learning market after China and the USA. According to forecasts, by 2026, the online education market in India will reach $ 8.6 billion (for comparison, in Russia, the EdTech sphere is estimated at $ 900 million). This is the result of the well-coordinated work of the government, Indian startups and foreign investors.

This technological explosion is facilitated bystate. In July, the authorities announced the creation of a National Education Policy (NOP-2020). This program will use technology while keeping in mind its potential risks. The authorities believe that digital platforms need to be optimized and improved to provide quality education. The changes will affect the Digital India campaign: teachers will take refresher courses to become effective online teachers.

The goal of any education system is to be usefulchildren, with the help of NOP-2020, the authorities want to ensure that by 2030, 100% of the country's population will receive schooling. The official strategy states that bridging social gaps in access to education will continue to be one of the main goals of all education sector development programs.

Indian education now facesa serious choice: India could lose more than 10 million potential students over the next few years to learning gaps. Many non-governmental polls hint at a “learning crisis” in the country. But the real picture emerged after the National Council for Research (NCERT) conducted a survey with strong support from the Department of Education. Their results showed that students in 12 states were not good at arithmetic skills. Therefore, the main task now is to achieve basic mathematical literacy.

Startups

Directions of EdTech companies in India fit intoglobal trend of education standardization. Online test preparation startups (BYJU'S, Unacademy, Embibe) account for 79% of the total investment in Indian EdTech. The next largest sector is startups with online courses and the possibility of obtaining certificates (upGrad and Vedantu) with a share of 8.4%.

BYJU'S is a technology startup from Bangalore,founded by Baiju Ravendran in 2011. The company is valued at $ 13 billion - more than all educational companies in Russia combined. Their main product is the sale of laptops and tablets with uploaded videos of the school curriculum. In addition to them, the company offers an educational application that helps to pass entrance exams to a university or study the program for grades 6-12. Children study in online classes, solve tests on tablets, and engage in in-depth analysis of school subjects.

Parents love the app:according to the company, 93% of those surveyed said they had improved their child's academic performance. BYJY’S has 15 million registered users, 900 thousand of which use an annual paid subscription.

Unacademy is another startup from Bangalore,marketplace for training courses, which appeared on the basis of the YouTube channel. Unacademy has trained over 3 million students, most of the courses on this platform are free. Unacademy wants to provide free education for everyone. Video tutorials are available in multiple languages ​​and students can subscribe to instructors to access the courses.

Role in changing Indian educationForeign companies are also playing: Amazon has offered a new learning platform that aims to help students enroll in prestigious engineering colleges. Amazon Academy will be available through a new Android app and website. The company said the Amazon Academy will include carefully selected teaching materials, live lectures and quizzes in mathematics, physics and chemistry. It will be possible to run mock tests on the platform that simulate the experience of the main exam.

Meritnation is a platform with detailedlive classes, multimedia tutorials, interactive exercises, practice tests and expert help designed to make learning easier. The company is headquartered in New Delhi.

These startups are just a small fraction of the companiesdriving EdTech forward in the Indian market. Beyond classical schooling, programming for kids is the next frontier, as the country is a breeding ground for engineering personnel. Many schools are moving completely online and relying on online learning, so the adoption of EdTech services will accelerate, which will have a positive impact on the Indian education system.

Education in the world is changing, and more and more education is moving online even after the coronavirus restrictions have been lifted. India is an example of how this transition can be effective.

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